Driving to church yesterday, I caught the news feed on my smartphone out of the corner of my eye.  I clicked the radio on. Shooting. Night Club. Massacre. Orlando. The death tolls was, at that time, about 20. I thought, “…this is like San Bernardino again…this is our own Paris or Brussels…what a tragedy.”

Fifteen minutes later, the service at Christ Church was ready to begin.  What do I say? What meager words could I offer to a group of early morning worshippers who would be in shock and sadness? What dare I say? There were still so many unanswered questions…

I tried on a few thoughts and phrases before I entered to lead the congregation. “As you all may have heard…” seemed empty. “Terrorism has struck again…” seemed true but trite.

“We need to pray this morning with the people of Orlando…” seemed the most honest and plain.  That’s what I planned. But what then? How do you pray? What are the words you say when your own words won’t suffice?

I turned to the most heart-rich, honest, trusted, collection of prayers we have ready access to: the Psalms. And I turned to a Psalm that I have inadvertently all but memorized over years of reading it at bedsides and gravesides: Psalm 91. CONTINUE READING