Statement from Dean Kittredge on tragic events in Las Vegas

Dear Friends:

I write again in response to a shared tragedy: today the shooting in Las Vegas. We honor those who have died by tolling the bell before the Eucharist in Christ Chapel this Tuesday morning.

As I said yesterday at Christ Chapel, the most elemental and basic Christian response in such a time is lament. Investigations seek motive. All look for some group or set of beliefs to blame. No explanation or proposed solution will be adequate. We are left with extraordinary human suffering and grief.

I commend the practice of lament.

“The book of Psalms is called the book of praises, yet it includes more laments than anything else.  Pondering this contradiction might provide a good way to sharpen your aim in prayer.  Here is a starting point for that meditation:  When you lament in good faith, opening yourself to God honestly and fully – no matter what you have to say – then you are beginning to clear the way for praise.  You are straining toward the time when God will turn your tears into laughter… The Lament psalms regularly trace a movement from complaint to confidence in God.  Yet they make that move without ever telling us that the external situation has changed for the better.  What has changed is the psalmist’s inner experience of suffering, and perhaps that has changed only because she has dared to break the isolation of silence and knows that God has heard.”

~ Ellen Davis from Getting Involved With God, Cowley Publications, 2001.

Psalm 6, 22, 86, and 109

Yours in Christ,