Monday, December 17, 2012

Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary School

A few days have passed since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, and I'm sad to report that social media seems to have all but moved on. The day of the shooting, my Facebook news feed was 99% filled with comments on the tragedy; today - we're back to what people are having for dinner, and what their newly made gingerbread house looks like.

And I can't say I blame anyone - what else are we to do? Once the initial shock wears off, people want to try and make sense of what happened...and when we can't, we are forced to seemingly move on, simply by default. But I do know we are all still thinking about it - how could we not be?

I don't have anything prophetic to say about the horrific event. I'm not here to take stance on gun control or mental health (although I, like most, have opinions on both). The piece of truth that I've been trying to focus on is that the Bible tells us that life on earth is not life in heaven (Revelation 21: 1-8). Sadly, we have been led to believe that if we try hard enough, control people enough, and "take what's ours" while we can, we can obtain heaven on earth - at least for a little while. In reality, no amount of gun control or mental health attention will attain a heaven on earth culture or experience. And while I do support doing what we can with the information we have, I also hold fast to the truth that even our very best collective efforts will always leave us wanting more - more peace, more comfort, more shalom. 

And all of that which we want more of is supplied, but it's in heaven - and Christians only get a glimpse of that while here on earth, by the grace of God through Jesus. 

My church published a few biblical responses to the shooting that are for more articulate than I could ever be:
A Pastor’s Response To The Sandy Hook School Shooting

Giving it Grace: I mentioned Revelation 21:1-8. It is by God's sweet grace that we have this to look forward to:
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away'. And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.' Then He said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death'.”