He has shown all you people what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NIV
Let us pray.
We think of the 45 People beaten by organized thugs in Yuen Long, a far northwest metro station of Hong Kong. There is worry of collusion and payments being made to criminals to actually disrupt public safety as citizens are peacefully protesting. An extradition bill that sparked the civil protest has been suspended. Comfort the families of the injured. We ask that you bring clarity to leaders and especially the police as they sort out right action to address the turmoil. Bring justice where there is violent behavior and help us to show mercy where impoverished people seem to turn toward crime. Oh Lord, we hear of these horrendous things and bow our heads. Help us to walk humbly.
We remember the Paradise fire and morn the loss, loss that killed 85 people and devastated a small city. “Ahead of the Fire,” reported by the Arizona Republic (USA) and USA Today reflects and analyzes the fire and the human risk for people living in the west, and what and where prevention can happen to avert catastrophe. Help us to hear the Good News months later as wild fire specialists and other scientists sort out the over 500 high-risk western US communities like Paradise. We pray for the disabled, the elderly, the poor who may not have cell phones to hear an Amber alert, who live in housing that is substandard and fire prone. Bring compassionate services to them. We remember fires around the world that devastate communities leaving people with nothing. We pray that this report will inform policy and opportunities for just and equable action. Help us to live humbly and work for justice.
We seek courage of voice to declaim abuses in Sudan, as reported by the BBC this week, where the Rapid Support Forces have been accused of a massacre in which more than 120 people were killed and many of the dead dumped in the River Nile in early June. This quasi-ruling power in Sudan, fueled by its gold mining in Darfur, sends its gold to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sudanese militiamen are now fighting in Yemen with the UAE and “policing” the border to Libya, extracting bribes, ransoms and levies. We shutter at the expanding web of war and the millions suffering in famine in Yemen. Lord, show your mercy; restore our sanity and resolve to take just action. Help us to speak with courage.
And help us to remember that through the work of the UN, 12 million refugees around the world have received essential supplies and 92,400 refugees have been resettled in 2018. Help us to live with thanks.
May we show devotion in all seasons, times of the day and spaces. We take out the garbage, fix a meal, lend a hand, soothe a baby, read to a child, fold the bedding, close a tent flap to shelter from rain, or linger a moment to look at the stars. Eternal One, you are with us in all these moments. May we feel your Holy Spirit even in the darkest of times. May Christ’s words to love infuse our hearts, minds and hands. Help us, indeed, to love mercy and to show mercy.
We close with the words of St. Francis of Assisi, For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.