In Psalm 85: 6-7 the psalmist writes, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation.”

Isaiah 40:31 offers these words of solace: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”

And Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us of God’s overarching purpose and intent for us: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

The words of these verses have been my prayer this week as I have thought about the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas and how it impacts all of us. It was humankind itself that was the target in Las Vegas—and the attack was on our shared spirit and common humanity.

What we saw this week is that while the target of evil is the very spirit of humanity, the response is one of courage and hope.

Under savage attack, we saw strangers come together to protect others from harm. We saw courage in the flesh as brave souls came to the aid those who had been stricken. We saw hope made real and tangible in the everyday heroes who rose up in defiance of the attacker whose actions personified evil.

And so we pray, “Revive us, O Lord. Renew our strength. Vanquish evil, bind up our wounds, and heal our land.”  Amen.