Deliver us from Evil
Many of us pray the Lord’s prayer each day. Lately I have been praying these particular words from the Lord’s Prayer again and again “deliver us from evil”.
On June 25th a man opened fire in the Oslo nightlife district just outside a popular bar frequented by the LGBTQ community, two persons were killed and more than twenty injured. The perpetrator continues to deny revealing his reason for the attack, and the police investigates the shooting as an act of terror and a hate crime targeted at LGBTQ persons. The man will remain in pretrial custody for four weeks.
On June 27th the Russian Army fired two missiles and into central Kremenchuk, in Ukraine hitting the Amstor shopping center. This heinous attack killed at least 20 people and injured more than 50. In a war soldiers kill each other but when innocent civilians become the target of attacks, it is calculated and cynical evil.
On July 3rd a 22-year-old man shot and killed three persons and wounded several in the Fields shopping mall in Copenhagen, Denmark. The young man is mentally disturbed, and he is held in pre-trial custody, while police investigation continues.
These terrible crimes happened in Norway, Ukraine and Denmark, but unfortunately such tragic events are by no means unique or unusual in our world today. This time they happened during a period of 8 days in my episcopal area, but similar evil attacks happen in other parts of the world on a daily basis.
Families are devastated mourning the meaningless deaths of their loved ones. For the rest of their lives thousands will have to live with fear and dreadful memories of what they have seen and experienced.
We have many questions. Why did this happen? Could it have been avoided? How could anyone think about doing this? Is there any hope, or are things just getting worse and worse?
A good and safe society cannot be taken for granted. We create safe and healthy communities together, and we all share the responsibility of protecting and shaping our society with the Christian values from which it was formed. Some are spontaneously responding by reaching out to people in need offering help, hospitality and care – such expressions of goodness are responsible actions to build a healthy society.
At a time such as this, I believe, the most important thing we can do is to trust Christ and to unashamedly hold on to our Christian values and act upon them – to resist evil by talking to each other, caring for each other and praying for those, who are directly affected by the tragic events that have happened.
May God have mercy on those, who mourn. Lord, have mercy on us all. Lord “….deliver us from evil…”