In a world so wired an interconnected,

our anxious hearts are pummeled by

an endless barrage of troubling news.

We are daily aware of more grief, O Lord,

than we can rightly consider,

or more suffering and scandal

than we can respond to, or more

hostility, hatred, horror, and injustice

than we can engage with compassion.

But you, Jesus, are not disquieted

by such news of cruelty and terror and war.

You are neither anxious nor overwhelmed.

You carried the full weight of the suffering

of a broken world when you hung upon

the cross, and you carry it still.

When the cacophony of universal distress

unsettles us, remind us that we are but small

and finite creatures, never designed to carry

the vast abstractions of great burdens,

for our arms are too short and our strength

is too small. Justice and mercy, healing and

redemption, are your great labors

And yes, it is your good pleasure to accomplish

such works through your people,

but you have never asked any one of us

to undertake more than your grace

will enable us to fulfill.

Guard us then from shutting down our empathy

or walling off our hearts because of the glut of

unactionable misery that floods our awareness.

You have many children in many places

around the globe. Move each of our hearts

to compassionately respond to those needs

that intersect our actual lives, that in all places

your body might be actively addressing

the pain and brokenness of this world,

each of us liberated and empowered by

your Spirit to fulfill the small part

of your redemptive work assigned to us.

Give us discernment

in the face of troubling news reports.

Give us discernment

to know when to pray,

when to speak out,

when to act,

and when to simply

shut off our screens

and our devices,

and to sit quietly

in your presence,

casting the burdens of this world

upon the strong shoulders

of the one who

alone

is able to bear them up.

Amen.

– “A Liturgy for Those Flooded with Too Much Information,” Every Moment Holy, Vol 1, Douglas K. McKelvey.