Note: The series “What We Do When We Do Church” will continue next time. This is a special devotion of response to recent events in Joplin, Missouri.
The church I serve – St. Matthew Lutheran, Hawthorn Woods – participates in Lutheran Church Charities’ Comfort Dog Program.
This picture is of my colleague and I with some of the comfort dogs.
Yesterday, we received news that there was a shooting in Joplin, Missouri that involved Immanuel Lutheran, Joplin’s comfort dog team.
This is from their Facebook Page:
Please keep the members of our Immanuel-Joplin Comfort Dog team in your prayers, as well as the other individuals involved in this morning’s shooting spree in Joplin. One of our members is in critical care after being shot in the lung. Another was shot in the arm. Another took glass fragments to the head. All are out of surgery and in stable condition. The other Comfort Dog team humans were not physically harmed… Our two Comfort Dogs Jackson and Louie, both sustained bullet wounds. Jackson was shot through the ear flap, and Louie in the neck. Louie is now out of surgery. The bullet slug was successfully removed… Please pray for the man who did this. We are thankful that he is in custody, and pray that he will receive the help that he needs, finding the grace and forgiveness that comes in Christ alone… Praise God that He has protected the people of our congregation and our city once again. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Please join me in praying:
Gracious God and Father, although Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to bring us Your heavenly peace, violence and conflict still rage among Your children on earth. We pray that Your mercy and goodness would bring an end to the violence in the world, especially as it has touched Your people in Joplin, Missouri. Bring a restoration of calm and security, and heal the wounds that have been inflicted. Open Your fatherly heart and bountiful hand to help all in need. Grant that we all may live together in unity and peace, and let all hatred and ill will be remembered no more. Give us that peace which the world cannot give, and grant us grace that, delivered from all conflict and strife, we may live in harmony and safety, and finally, having gained the eternal rest of the saints in glory, may praise and bless, worship and glorify You forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.