Statement and a Prayer from the Board of More Light Presbyterians in response to the March 27, 2023 mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, TN.
More Light Presbyterians stands with children and families and against a culture that glorifies violence. We stand with trans people and communities and against ideologues who seek to exploit the tragic deaths of seven people at Covenant School in Nashville, TN, to advance a transphobic agenda of dehumanization and genocide. We join our siblings across faiths, political parties, and identities to state the truth: the guns are the problem. As we seek to turn weapons of mass death into plowshares, and amidst a week of confusion, grief, anger, and fear, we turn in prayer to our God, who is faithful to people marginalized by society.
In response, we share with you this prayer based on Psalm 121 by MLP Board Member, Mx. Kate Davoli (they/them).
“I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?”
Psalm 121 sounds like a battlefield hymn.
It is the general who is speaking, and the audience is his soldiers. The situation is dire: they are being totally crushed by their enemies in a war they did not choose. He lifts his eyes to the hills because that’s the direction their hoped-for reinforcements will come from.
But they are not coming.
Oh God but I feel this today.
State after State is passing laws aimed at destroying the trans community.
Some of them with such overwhelming support that they can defeat their own governor’s veto.
State after State is rejecting gun safety laws.
If they even get referred to committee for adjusting, they just languish there.
Evil surrounds my people.
Attackers assail us.
And reinforcements are not coming.
Help is not coming.
So I am thinking of this general in the Psalm who tells his soldiers to look elsewhere:?
“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” he says.
Because even though our enemies look poised to dismantle us, even though our neighbors won’t step up, we worship a God who has committed to protecting the weak, the vulnerable, and the oppressed.
The one who established us as a community is no slacker.
The one who sustains us is not asleep.
Even when our allies abandon us, we are protected by our God:
Who hides us when hiding will save us.
Who keeps us alive even when we are surrounded by evil.
Who is with us in our advances and our retreats.
And even if you have never experienced this before,
this practical, literal life-saving miracle,
this against-all-odds preserving of a community,
it starts today.
And will continue forevermore.