Friday, December 14, 2012

A Word About the Connecticut School Shooting

"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." --Jesus (John 16:33)

There are a great many things that happen on this planet and in this country that defy human explanation. We are living through yet another one. We are hardly past the theatre shooting in Aurora and once again we are asking, "Why?". Why would anyone go into an elementary school and kill twenty children and five teachers? Why would anyone do this? Why? Why? Why? In time, those who investigate such things will bring us an explanation--at least to give us some sense of what happened. The bigger "why" that I'm asking is, why do we seem to see an increase in violence against our young adults and our children. Let me share four thoughts that will likely prove less than satisfying to us in this moment of pain, and yet I believe each of them to be truth.

#1--Our world is filled with trouble, as Jesus said in John 6:33. There is a heaven (a place with no sin) but we're not there yet. Sinful people do sinful things and we are sinners living among a world filled with sinners. Each sin ripples across the lake of time effecting the world in sometimes catastrophic ways. Without providing excuses for him, we can make an assumption that today's shooter was likely (at least in his mind) paying back somebody or something for whatever has gone terribly wrong in his own world. Somehow this small school got in the way of this man's chaotic self-destruction.
#2--What we describe as mental illness, God's word often describes as demonic oppression or possession. Great evil can flow through men and women sometimes because they are being used as a tool by the forces of evil that move throughout our world. Revelation 9:11 says that one of the names for Satan is in Hebrew, Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon--meaning "the Destroyer".
#3--Our culture for years has been diminishing the value of human life through the acceptance of things like abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. We can't look the other way when life is cheapened without experiencing the consequences. Remember, sin ripples across the lake of time.
#4--Humans, all humans, are created in the image and likeness of God. The least scarred and least hardened by sin are the youngest among us--our children. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is composed of children and that entrance to the kingdom comes as we become childlike in our faith. Throughout history, Satan has waged war on the children (those who most resemble the image of God). Think of Pharaoh killing the infant Hebrews as well as Herod killing the small children of Bethlehem. Satan has always been seeking to destroy the children
As I said in the beginning, likely, none of this will be too comforting. With that in mind, let me end where I began, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (JN 16:33). My response and our response to this tragedy should be to bring people to Jesus--the only one to ever overcome the world! Take heart--the evil that we see and experience everyday--is overcome through Jesus resurrection! He lives--we live--these children in Connecticut live!
As has been said, we will all hug our kids a little tighter tonight. When you do, remind them of the good news...because He lives, I can face tomorrow...