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Bishop Park responds to the Las Vegas shooting

. 2 min read
October 4, 2017

“Cure thy children’s
warring madness, bend our pride to thy control, shame our wanton, selfish
gladness, rich in things and poor in soul, Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.” 
Dear
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace
to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness,
and Hope of the World!
Evil
demonstrated its killing force in the most dreadful way yet again, only in a
larger and unprecedented scale this time. A place of fun and enjoyment
instantly turned into a zone of the most horrific carnage. The mass killing in
Las Vegas is one of the largest recorded in US history. Lamentably, gun
violence is the prime candidate that proves that the record is made only to be
broken. It’s only a matter of time.
Our
broken hearts, thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of the
victims and to their communities for comfort, strength, and healing. I invite
and encourage you individually and collectively as a church to pray for the
people who have been traumatized by this event. Pray for the victims who are
still hospitalized and the doctors and medical personnel who treat them. Even
though I am half-way around the world, as I am traveling in Mongolia and Korea
now, the news of this event immediately became the lead story here. Whether it
is Paris or Orlando, Istanbul or Sandy Hook, Brussels or Las Vegas, we are
immediately connected with the pain and heartache of those whose lives have
been interrupted and changed forever by violence.
I
know that we find God present in this moment. We have heard the stories of the
police officers, emergency medical personnel, and the concert goers who put the
needs and safety of others above their own. Hundreds of people stood in line
almost immediately and remained for hours waiting to donate blood. These acts
of caring people bring me much hope and are a sign of the ultimate goodness of
humanity.
The
words listed at the beginning are from one of the most cherished, long honored
hymns of our church. The well-respected pastor of Riverside Church, New York,
the Rev. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, wrote those words in 1930. However, he
could have easily written them today. The phrase, “cure thy
children’s warring madness,” reverberates through my mind and becomes my
fervent prayer and hope following these horrendous acts of violence. Yes, God,
“cure thy children’s warring madness.”
Rev.
Fosdick, in his fourth stanza wrote, “Save us from weak resignation to the
evils we deplore.” God’s people, let’s pray that we as a nation might
recognize that enough is enough and that we demand actions that call for no
more. We must as a people begin to do the courageous things that will be
required to reduce hatred, increase the tolerance capacity of others whose
views are different, and learn to see one another as children of the Holy God
we worship and love. Ever more determined, we join in the chorus of Dr.
Fosdick’s prayer; “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of
this hour … lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.” May it be so.
Prayerfully
in Christ,

Jeremiah
J. Park