Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hosannas for Belgium

On Sunday, we--and churches across the world--celebrated Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus came processing humbly, yet triumphantly, into Jerusalem amid a host of people crying out to Him, "Hosanna!"

As I noted in our Sunday School class for the day, and as our teaching elder for that Sunday echoed in her stewardship reflection during worship, "Hosanna" literally translates to "save us" or even more urgently, "save us now."  It is a plaintive, emotive cry for salvation.

It is a cry millions of us are uttering today as we wake up to the news of another terrorist attack by the Islamic State in Europe, this time in Brussels, Belgium, on its airport and subway system that has left over thirty souls dead and over another hundred injured.

Hosanna, my triumphant King.  Save us from the evil of those who would kill to terrorize, who would maim and murder in the name of a heresy, of a false interpretation of a God who condones no such brutality in His kingdom.

Hosanna, my righteous King.  Save us from the evil of a world addicted to death in all its gory and injurious forms, from a world that oppresses and brutalizes, puts down and keeps down, and sometimes with no end in sight.

Hosanna, my humble King.  Save us from the evil of our own hearts, the evil of wanting to torture, wanting to take gratuitous and wanton revenge, of wanting to entertain in our souls our own devils of prejudice that lead us to commit acts of violence against still more innocents, and of wanting to take your justice into our hands.

Hosanna, my divine King.  Save us from our mortal limitations, our human short-sightedness, our lack of regard for neighbor, brother, and sister, and our desire to see others suffer and die so that we might "live."

Hosanna, my immortal King.  Save us from the wages of our sins against each other, from the death we sentence each other to, from the spiritual death inflicted by radicalization and the physical deaths that are the fruits of that spiritual death.

Hosanna, my eternal King.  Save us from the worst of our moments, the most shameful of our actions, our tendencies to reach for our worst selves in response to the very worst selves of others who want only to see us burn.

Hosanna, my peaceful King.  Save us from the terrorism and violence of evil hearts, evil minds, and evil souls, and from the violence whose only child is yet more violence.

Hosanna, my great King.  Save us from the lowest versions of ourselves, from our debased worship of war, and from our meager, inadequate capacities to know what you know, see what you see, and do as you would do.

Hosanna, my one true King.  Save me from my disbelief and my worry, from my anger and my fear, and deliver me to the peace, justice, and mercy that comes from your unique grace.

Save me from this world that corrupts and harms its children without thought to the potential of their lives, only for the potential impact of their deaths.

Save me from that way of living.  Save us from that way of living.  Save us from the falseness of such life.

Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.

Save us, my King.

Longview, Washington
March 22, 2016

Image courtesy of Le Monde

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