I know pastors who feel compelled to address nearly every mass shooting or terrorist attack that explodes in the news. I understand. I also understand that if I were to do the same I might never get a chance to talk about anything else. However, the most recent mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas has hit particularly close to home. A little church, about the size of the church where I was ordained, was intentionally targeted by a young man with a history of domestic violence. Twenty-six people were killed including the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter.
It’s at times like these I understand the lament of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” When tragedy strikes, there’s a temptation to surrender to fear, despair or rage. Indeed, those are all natural human responses. But I choose to stand with the Psalmist, who begins with a cry of lament, but ends in trust and faith. For “all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.” (Ps. 22:27-28)
May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus, come!