I was grieved to hear about the shooting death of three UVA students this week. I feel angry that anyone would commit such violence toward other human beings. I feel fearful for the safety of my children and the children of our church. I feel sad that, as a society, this continues to happen, time after time.


Is there a word from God for us in a situation like this?


When the light of hope seems dim, when evil shows its ugly face in the world, when bad things happen to people we love, let me encourage you to turn to the Psalms. The Psalms are Israel’s hymnal and a prayerbook for the Church. They give us words when we have no words. They name our emotional and spiritual experiences with clarity and hope. But, most of all, they help us connect again to the God who created us.


Let me invite you to pray the words of Psalm 10:


Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?


In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”


His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.


Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. God, see the trouble of the afflicted; consider their grief and take it in hand. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.


The LORD is King for ever and ever. You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.


Pastor Brad