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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 2:1–4
I will stand at my watch-post,
     and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
     and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision;
     make it plain on tablets,
     so that a runner may read it.
For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
     it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
     it will surely come, it will not delay.
Look at the proud!
     Their spirit is not right in them,
     but the righteous live by their faith.” (NRSV)

Like the prophet Habakkuk, I also have concerns and fears. As much as I long for summer (I don’t think I’m alone here), I do fear that warmer temperatures will again lead to a spike in citywide violence—especially among Chicago’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. On the weekend of March 22–23, for instance, at least two people were killed and nineteen wounded in Chicago. Sadly, this violence has become an accepted norm. As it was with Habakkuk, we are regularly witnesses to strife, anguish, and devastation.

Thus, as it was with Habakkuk, we also watch. We pray. We bring our concerns and fears, our doubts and anger to God. And we take comfort in knowing that ours is a God who hears us, who has a vision, who has taught us to pray—and live—“your kingdom come.”

God, though I have doubts and anger, I’m grateful you hear my prayer. Please shine your light and love upon our city this summer, and bring safety and peace to our streets. Please provide all residents of our city and surrounding areas with abundant, nutritious food, good education, secure shelter, gainful employment opportunities, and hope. Please help us work for peace and strengthen our community. Amen.

Written by Debbie Frisch, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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