We are in the final moments before the execution of another human being. We have heard the voices of victims’ families and the arguments for and against what is about to happen. We cannot tear ourselves away from the news reports giving us a minute by minute timeline of events. We await a final word of what is not going to be a fully satisfying outcome. This person’s death will not restore the lives lost. This person’s sentence does not quell the anger that others feel at the horrible things done to others.
Do we mirror the crowds in Jerusalem those many years ago: some calling out for an execution, others pleading for a different outcome, and still others who remain silent? While we acknowledge that the circumstances of that day are vastly different from today’s event, we cannot escape similar emotions.
Have mercy on us, O God. We seek justice for victims but is this the way? It feels more like revenge when we use the words “an eye for an eye.”
You have shown us mercy, teach us how to be merciful yet just in our dealings with those who violate the structure and trust of our society.
Comfort us all today for we need it. Abide with us in this moment of anxiety and angst. Reassure us that you are in control.