So be it.
It will certainly be like this.
May it be so.
This is the truth.
On this we can depend.
Compassionate and loving God, as we watch events unfold across our world, our emotions often cannot be translated into words. So we call out to You with a word You gave us through Your holy Word and on the lips of Your Word made flesh: “Amen”. Amen, we say, at once pleading, celebrating, and hoping for the coming of Your kingdom into our world of laughter and tears, fear and faith.
Although our news is often filled with suffering and hate, we know that Your love is evident all around us, O God. Our amens are joyful as we celebrate the small glimpses of Your kingdom that we can see in this world. We rejoice at the humanity of Syrian photographer Abd Alkader Habak, who put down his camera to rescue a child who was injured in a car bomb explosion in Aleppo, Syria. As we commemorate the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Day this week, we delight in the development of the world’s first malaria vaccine, which will be distributed throughout Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi beginning in 2018. We are glad at the news of a newly-discovered coral reef in Brazil, where scientists may find new species of plant and animal life. As we observe all the ways Your gifts of love and talent are present in our world, our amens become a celebration of Your promise to be with us always, and so we shout with joy:
Amen! On this we can depend.
As we witness the pain of Your beloved children and the abuse of Your beloved creation, our amens turn to pleas for Your intervention. The consequences of humanity’s mistreatment of the earth continue to spread as more landslides plague Latin America and South America, including a landslide in Maniales, Colombia that left at least 17 dead, while victims of Cyclone Debbie in Australia and New Zealand continue struggling to recover from flooding and damage. Our abuse of one another reveals the sinfulness of our human hearts. As of now, 29 people have died during protests and counter-protests in Venezuela in the wake of a political struggle over separation of powers. A wave of violence in the Laikipia region of Kenya in recent weeks has left damage to property and people, including the shooting of well-known conservationist Kuki Gallmann. Decisions from the Supreme Court of the US have made way for a series of hurried judicial executions in Arkansas, including the first double execution in 16 years. As our hearts break at the suffering and injustice in our world, our amens become a reminder of Your promises of a just and joy-filled future, and so we cry out to You:
Amen! May it be so.
As we watch for signs of Your Spirit at work in the world, our amens ascend as hopeful reminders of Your loving presence and the seeds of Your kingdom that are being planted all around us. The provincial government of Ontario, Canada, is tackling poverty with a test program which gives poor people a basic income, an initiative similar to one launched in Finland earlier this year. The potential for compassionate and discerning governments can be glimpsed in Vietnam, where a hostage situation resulting from a dispute over land rights ended with the safe release of all hostages, along with a promise from local authorities to investigate and re-examine local land use policies. On Earth Day over 600 marches and protests took place around the world, as individuals and groups used their voices to highlight the importance of science for improving lives and protecting our fragile planet. As we witness these small ways that Your kingdom breaks into our world, our amens become a song of hope that love will prevail, and so we exclaim:
Amen! It will certainly be like this.
Hear the amens of our lips and our hearts this day and always, O God. Bring reassurance to those who plead, joy to those who celebrate, and comfort to those who mourn. In faithfulness to Your promise to hear our prayers, bring us help and hope as we cry, sing, shout, and pray without ceasing, in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen and amen.