“A sound was heard in Ramah, the sound of crying in bitter grief.
Rachel was crying for her children.

She refused to be comforted because they were dead.”

Matthew 2:17-19 GOD’S WORD Translation


“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,

Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way…”[i]


Save us.

Save us from a racist hate that would strike our Black children down on train platforms.

Save us from a racist system that would shoot our Black children in the back.20160711_151111

Save us from racist institutions that prepare our Black children for incarceration.

Save us from racist policies that condemn our Black children to a life of poverty.

Save us from the bitter grief You know so well.

Lead us.

Lead us into a path of unyielding love.

Lead us out of our comfort zones.

Lead us into revolutionary action.

Lead us out of our fear.

Lead us into Kin-dom building.

Lead us out of our need to other—and then hate the other.


Save us. Lead us.

Our children are dead.

There is nothing that can comfort us.

Our hope is in You, God.

Only You.




[i]The Black National Anthem: Lift Every Voice and Sing. James Weldon Johnson (1921).


Rev. Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks is a soulful, progressive minister, teacher and learner and is committed to the liberation of oppressed peoples, building power and creating community. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, three children and eight grandchildren (!) and currently serves as executive director of A Just Harvest, pastor at San Lucas UCC and Namasté UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary.

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