It has been a very difficult week. Much harder than most. We have witnessed the absolute horrific tragedy of the church shootings in a tiny town deep in the heart of Texas. How in the world do we make sense of that? Dear people who left their homes as they usually have done to attend church completely unaware what the next hour would bring. Their lives, and ours, have been changed forever.
The Church of Jesus exists to spread the hope that Jesus Christ came to give to human beings who have disobeyed the law of God, and that would include all of us. The church is not a perfect place since it is made up of totally imperfect people. Imperfect people who have recognized that God loves them, that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, and who have fully embraced the offer of forgiveness and pardon given to them by God. Because of the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15) we have real hope in real-time.
There are many things being written these days to try to help us make sense of this and other human tragedies. Yes, we should take all the precautions we can to prevent events like this from occurring again, but they inevitably will because of the evil nature in human beings. It doesn’t matter what laws are passed, human beings will find a way to violate them. If not dealt with, the sin that lives in us will cause damage of all kinds! It is inevitable.
If human beings could take God’s sinless Son and nail him to a Roman cross and they actually did do that, then every other violation of God’s moral law is not only possible but doable! And, in our world today, not only doable but accepted, not only accepted but even celebrated! They call that which is “good” evil and that which God calls “evil” they call “good”! It matters not how perverse and morally repugnant these acts of evil are, we are told to shut up and accept them as normal. The thing we need to know is that we are all capable of doing them, yes, all of us!
Like you, my heart was broken to see small children, pregnant ladies, and others, shot as they worshipped the One who is love and eternal. They died anticipating the truth the Jesus is in fact the resurrection and the life! His Word gives us hope now and forever, through good times and absolutely horrible times. Jesus said to the disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” (John 16:20). Our broken-hearted souls find hope and deep consolation in who Jesus is and his victory over sin, evil, death and injustice.
Therefore, friends, we literally run to God today! Not because life is easy and because we have the “quick-fix” answers to life’s biggest dilemmas, but rather because Jesus was acquainted with grief and identifies with our sorrows. He gives us real hope in real time because he obtained victory over the tomb and over every evil deed and every evil person. Let’s remember this unchangeable promise, “But, thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57).
My dear friends, let us live in the light of that victory today!
Pastor Bill Finch