Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A pastoral message in the darkness

Dec 18, 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:


The great sadness surrounding us is overwhelming. The evil of the killings in Newtown on Friday is beyond words. But it is in the darkness that the light seems clearest. The increasing brightness of the candles on our Advent wreaths reminds us that the darkness will not overcome.


As often happens, hymns speak and sing the words for me. Poet Susan Palo Cherwien and composer Thomas Pavlechko put well the emotions I am feeling. You can find this treasure in the Lament section of Evangelical Lutheran Worship at number 699:


In deepest night, in darkest days, when harps are hung, no songs we raise,

when silence must suffice as praise, yet sounding in us quietly there is the song of God.

When friend was lost, when love deceived, dear Jesus wept, God was bereaved;

so with us in our grief God grieves, and round about us mournfully there are the tears of God.

When through the waters winds our path, around us pain, around us death:

deep calls to deep, a saving breath, and found beside us faithfully there is the love of God.


Come, Lord Jesus, come and save us. Give us peace. Console those whose lives are most intimately afflicted at this time. Strengthen families and caregivers and children who must now deal with overwhelming loss. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.


Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo


disaster relief
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