Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On the death of Osama bin Laden

I was not surprised to hear President Obama announce Osama bin Laden's death on Sunday night. I expected we would get him one day. Justice was served. It is not a day of celebration, however. It was the last resort because bin Laden was determined to continue the killing, and he had to be stopped. Too many in the U.S. and the world over have suffered loss because of this man's hatred for others. Sadly, he has many followers and his terrorism will continue to exist.

But for now, its time to turn to some prayer to remind us of what we should be doing and a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that might help us in this moment:

For our Enemies (from the BCP):

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Victims (orig. Maria Hines):

God of merciful love, help all families who are victims of terror
To accept the reality of such senseless acts of violence
Without, at the same time,
Succumbing to the despair of so great a loss.

May this violence become for them, instead,
A steppingstone toward greater union with you.
Teach them the forgiveness that was exemplified
By Jesus as he said,
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
And through his redemptive love,
Show your mercy to the perpetrators of these crimes
and help change their souls.

Fill the emptiness of their hearts
from the terror that touched them
With the fire of your divine love
So as to transform their losses
Into a healing power
For themselves and for our world.

For Peace (BCP):

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

and in the words of Dr. King:
"Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence and toughness multiples toughness in a descending spiral of destruction."

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