Pastoral Letter on Connecticut Shooting

Dear Ones in Jesus Christ,

All of our days were interrupted yesterday, December 14, and our hearts were shattered as we learned of the events that unfolded in Connecticut. We were driving to our vacation destination and as we heard the news on the radio, I couldn’t help but tear up. I weep for those families who will be without their little children this Christmas and for the rest of their lives, I weep for the teachers and staff who died, I weep for the young man who perpetrated these acts, I weep for our nation. I pray that somehow some understanding will come from these events someday, some measure of closure and solace.

As all of us meditate upon these tragic events I want us to practice a few things. First, please refrain from turning this event into a political happening. It was tragic, it was evil….but to make this about gun control or prayer in schools, or anything else removes the focus from where it should rightly be. Next, please refrain wishing evil upon the gunman or his family. We can never understand what was going on in that young mans mind and soul as he carried out this attack. We can never understand the far reaching consequences of the human condition. Next, hold your families close!

Finally, let us turn to God. In some strange way, this event just makes me think of Christmas even more. Remember it was for salvation and justice’s sake that Christ came in the first place. The Divine left the glory of heaven to become one of us….to become a Prince of Peace. So in the midst of this, pray for Christ’s Kingdom to come on Earth! In the midst of my own searching over this tragedy, I’ve been reminded of the closing portion of Psalm 46:

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

That’s why Jesus came. To make this reality. In Advent we celebrate that coming, and wait expectantly for his return. This day, in light of this tragic incident, and everyday we pray….Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

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