In the wake of this past year’s flurry of unimaginable violence against children, we must work harder than ever to protect our children from the ravages of gun violence. However, the problem is not just about guns. There are many powers arrayed against the welfare of our children. In the spirit of Acts 4:23-31, we must look at these threats and have the courage and wisdom to speak God’s Word of peace and justice with all boldness. Guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit we must not only speak but confront fear mongering along with the evils of racism and poverty that harm our children.
Let us prayerfully unite hearts and hands to boldly speak God’s Truth to power. In our congregations, let us equip ourselves like the early community of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem. Let us demonstrate the healing and transforming power of Spirit led, nonviolent, direct actions of self-giving for the safety and wellbeing of our children.
God of love and peace, deliver us and our children from violence and fear. Now, Lord, look at the threats against our children and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness. Give us courage that we may be your hands and feet to heal our violence-ridden land. May signs and wonders be performed in the name of your holy servant Jesus that those who live by violence and greed may be “shaken up” by the Good News of God’s compassion and justice for all. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Kate Epperly
Minister of Family and Children’s Ministries
United Church of Christ