Today we mourn for the children and adults killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. “Our hearts are broken” said President Obama in his news conference and address to the country. We witness yet again another tragic shooting in a place that ought to be safe for all. We remember the parents and families of all those who have died. We pray the comfort of God who is Emmanuel, God-with-us, even in the midst of such incomprehensible tragedy and sorrow.
We also remember the family and friends of the young man who committed these acts and bear these burdens in their own hearts and souls. We pray the mercy of God in Christ Jesus upon all who mourn and try to understand what led this day.
As we light the third candle of the Advent season, we pray the prayers of Advent: Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. Stir up the wills of your faithful people. Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come.
May the advent of God bring comfort and hope, strength and peace in all who mourn.
In Christ’s service,
Bishop Gerald L. Mansholt
Central States Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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