I asked pastors and religious leaders across the country to share the reflections and sermons they will give to their communities after the attacks in Boston. Many churches will draw hope from this week’s lectionary texts—the Biblical texts traditionally assigned to this Sunday in the church calendar—which happen to contain two of the Bible’s most famous passages of comfort amidst fear—Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me;” and Jesus’ words in the gospel of John: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
Here are reflections of hope from the pastor of a Copley Square church in Boston, a small-town Ohio pastor, a preacher in Durham, an African-American megachurch reverend in Virginia, a Los Angeles rabbi, a husband-wife co-pastor team of a Latino-Chinese church in New York City, and a Catholic father in Missouri. They offer an antidote to the violence that has doused us all this week.