With the tragedy in Texas we see yet another instance of violence to remind us that we live somewhere east of Eden. The scale of this incident is almost beyond our imagining. Almost, but the truth of the matter is there is not too much that surprises us. We are a people capable of unspeakable behavior. And, it has been the truth since Cain and Abel. For many, the horror was magnified by its location. Churches are the places where we should be safe from harm. If we are not safe in a church, then where can we be safe? After all, we use the word sanctuary to describe the place where worship occurs.
Debate In the Aftermath of Tragedy
In the aftermath of this tragedy my boys were debating what label to apply. Was this an act of terrorism or the act of a deranged individual? Back and forth they went. Each of my boys was trying to convince the other of the rightness of their position. But, to no avail. So, they turned to me. “Dad, what would you call it?” “Evil, evil is what I would call it,” I told them. For me the label was not the important thing. The important thing is there are families who have lost loved ones; the peace of a church was destroyed. But, evil is the term.
The boys then turned to the cause, not enough gun control vs. too much gun control. The debate was spirited and there was no chance of one convincing the other. “Dad, what do you think?” “Not enough Jesus.” I surprised them when I said the problem is the church has not done its job. It is, and always has been, our responsibility to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. Put simply, we have not provided a compelling picture of Jesus and the peace that comes from following Jesus.
Shaken, But With A Vision
With good reason, when we are confronted by these types of events our world is shaken. This event, and all the others, are scary because they remind us that evil is a reality. So, let’s do our job. Let’s be the people who provide a vision of a world where Jesus Christ is the King. And let’s be the people who don’t worry about labels. Rather, let’s be the people who step in where there is brokenness.
Truth from God’s Word
Romans 8:35-39 New International Version (NIV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.