Prayer for Monday, November 19th, 2018
LEADER: (Invite persons present to pause for a few moments of silent recollection and to offer any special intentions.)
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In less than two weeks time, we will enter into the season of Advent. The word Advent literally means coming, the coming of Jesus, the light of the world. It seems odd then that the gospel reading yesterday and the scripture readings at church this week are unusually dark and sad. You might expect that the readings would be joyful just prior to Advent. What we need to remember is that during Advent we celebrate the two comings of Jesus: his coming as a baby at Christmas and his coming back in glory in the future. In this week's scripture readings, Jesus tells us that before he comes back in glory, there will be many dark and evil things that will happen in the world.
All we need to do is look around our world and see such things as war, terrorism, poverty and hunger to know that Jesus' words are true. This week we mark the sad anniversary of a very dark and evil event in history which, unfortunately, very few people know about. 85 years ago, an estimated 10 million Ukrainian people were intentionally starved to death under the Communist regime led by the leader of Russia, Josef Stalin. This is known to the Ukrainian people as the "Holodomor", from the Ukrainian words "Holod" and "Moryty" which mean murder by starvation.
When we hear about the terrible events of Holodomor, we may be frightened or discouraged and think that the darkness will overcome the light. If you feel that way, please remember that the bible tells us that God's light has come into the world through Jesus and that the darkness will never overcome the light. We should also remember that God calls us to live as children of the light so that terrible events like Holodomor will never happen again. We can live as children of the light by remembering Holodomor, letting others know about it, and by praying for those who perished in it. By living as children of the light, we can help overcome the darkness in our world and make sure that terrible events like Holodomor will never happen again. Let us pray.
LEADER: God of mercy,
We are saddened when we recall the events of Holodomor and we wonder how people can be so cruel to other people. We pray for all those who died during the Holodomor that they would be safe now with you and we pray that you would comfort their families who mourn them. Help us, God, to stand up to the darkness in the world by being children of the light. We make our prayer in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.