The following is the message I sent out to our community after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. As the City of Boston lay in the grip of fear and lockdown during the manhunt for the suspected bomber, I believe these words hold as true now as they did on Monday:
Our hearts are heavy and our eyes are red with tears as we read, watch and listen to the reports about the terrorist attack today in the great City of Boston during the Boston Marathon. Those who inflict these acts of barbarism and terror do so in order to demoralize a people, to make a city and a nation cower and to bring fear to the hearts of every person who decides to run in a marathon or stand at the finish line to cheer. The message must be loud and clear: We will not be demoralized. We will not cower and we will face the fear of the unknown and continue enjoying marathons and other activities that make civil society function.
I am most struck today by the images of those people who did not run away from the explosions but who ran to them — medics, doctors, nurses, ordinary citizens and even the runners themselves. That is the spirit of America. That is what makes our country so great and that is the reason why no act of terror will ever break that spirit. The City of Boston is more resilient and tougher than any act of terror and the United States of America is more resilient and tougher than any act of terror. We know that because the goodness of our people shines through when we run towards the scene to help those hurt and not to run away from it. The fabric that forges us as a people is more powerful than any act of evil committed against us.
On this night of tragedy, let us take a moment to offer up a prayer to God and lift up the memories of those murdered and those injured:
O’ God, Sustainer of all life and Creator of all flesh
We beseech You –
We beseech You to accept into Your eternal care the souls of the departed who were viciously taken from this world today in Boston
We beseech You to bestow Your blessings of healing to those injured, maimed and wounded today in Boston
We pray –
We pray for the deliverance of Your justice against those who sought to extinguish life today and worked to bring death and destruction to Your creations
We pray for the arrival of a world made perfect by Your perfect love and the end to all acts of terror and murder committed by one human being against another
We bring these things to You because you are God. You are God who hears prayers. You are God who desires peace and loves peace
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable before You, my Rock and my RedeemerMay You heed our prayer. Amen.