The Tragedy at Wieambilla
Some words from Bishop Mark Vainikka & Pastor Joel Pukallus
We were shocked to wake up this morning to the news of a tragic shooting incident near Chinchilla, where two members of the Queensland Police Service and one member of the public have tragically died. I have spoken to Pastor Joel Pukallus, pastor of St Mark’s Lutheran Church, Dalby, and chaplain in the Dalby area of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. He said that last night’s events would hit many in the emergency services very hard.
Our prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and those recovering from physical injuries. Pastor Joel has written the following prayer that can be used and modified as needed.
God our Father and protector from evil, you use brave men and women to keep us safe. But we know that evil is not yet defeated. Sometimes it rears its head in its purest, vilest form and leaves us gasping. And we ask how you could let this happen? Yet we know deep down that this did not come from you.
God of compassion, we believe that you cry with us today, with the members of the Queensland Police Service whom you use as your hands and feet to keep us safe, with their families, with all of us who stand beside them in the Emergency Services, with all peace-loving people in this country and around the world.
God, it seems so surreal that this could happen as we are singing “Peace on earth, goodwill to men” in the lead-up to Christmas. But Christmas is what we need right now, to be assured that you have done something about the darkest forces of evil. Thank you loving God that you have given us that hope. Because of Christmas, because of Easter, because of Jesus, we can look forward to the time when there is “no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.
Until then Heavenly Father, keep us strong. Keep us strong for each other. And comfort those who scream in pain and anger today. Keep us from the want to pay back evil for evil. Be the choice that separates us from those who would destroy us and our peaceful way of life. Even those who don’t know you, need you today. Be amongst us: God with us, Emmanuel. Amen.
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