So, this is Nice, France [pronounced like "niece" for English speakers.].
One of the most beautiful places in the world. Also, one of the places in which one human being succumbed to the bestial nature to destroy many of its own species. I am again amazed at the direct import of this week's lectionary passages to our place and time:
This is a time to mourn and grieve the loss of life, the horror (and misplaced guilt) of the survivors, and the callousness of the ones that celebrate this kind of terror.
We will be tempted as followers of God to offer empty words and vain prayers. We might be tempted to shout curses and do vindictive acts for retribution. Remember: We have nothing to offer but mercy.
Let this psalm speak for you if you cannot find the words to pray. Take Verse 8 to heart. An olive tree, twisted and gnarled by time, but still producing a soothing balm to generations in the household of God (re: all creation). This is our moment. Steadfast love = mercy = hesed in Hebrew.
We are created for a purpose and this is it -- this is our moment of mercy.
“What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10 NIV)