The city was Rouen, in Normandy; the coastal region of northern France that most Americans know as the site of the D-Day landings during World War II.
The victim was Father Jacques Hamel. His age: 86.
The location was a worship service at a Catholic Church. He was celebrating Mass.
The time: this very morning. While we were still asleep, the stuff of our nightmares was actually happening.
Please join me in praying. I know it is in vogue to criticize people for praying. I realize that prayer alone is not enough. The Book of James is clear that faith without deeds is dead. But ceasing to pray is no answer. Have the courage of your convictions: Pray. Heed the scriptures: pray without ceasing.
As a place to start, I remind you of the prayer of St Francis; a prayer that, in submission to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, points us in the directions of righteous action as instruments in His hands.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Dan has been the Pastor of Salem UMC since June, 2017. He loves preaching, the Atlanta Braves, beach vacations, and precious time with his wife Brenda and their grown sons. Read More . . .