Background: When the Nazi party took power in Germany in 1933, they began an organized campaign to exterminate the Jewish race. By the end of World War II, 6 million Jews lay dead. Never has there been a more systematic, intentional attempt at genocide. In addition, the Nazis executed at least another 5 million others considered “undesirable,” including dissidents, prisoners of war, Romani (Gypsies), the disabled, and homosexuals.
Dear God: We confess that it is beyond our capacity to imagine the magnitude and meaning of the holocaust of the Jews.
Hunted. Hounded. Herded.
Shot. Gassed. Starved. Worked to death.
At least one million children. Two million women. Three million men.
We acknowledge that many among those who devised and implemented this unspeakable horror were those who breathed your Name in their liturgy of carnage.
Gott mit uns (“God with us”), inscribed on the belt buckle of every German soldier, has been the motto of empires of every age.
Including our own “one nation, under God.”
Free us, we pray, from the tyranny of all such gods. Grant us the gumption to be heretics in the face of every such fraudulent use of your Name.
Bind our hearts and hands in the manner of Immanuel*, as in God-with-us Jesus, who faced with disarmed truth the terror of his own age.
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. For a service commemorating Yom Ha’Shoah, commonly known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. *Isaiah 7:14, 8:8; Matthew 1:23.