Sunday, December 16, 2012

This was not God's will

The worship day started for about 25 of us with a time of prayer and lament on the church’s front lawn.  We courageously admitted that we don’t have answers to the tragedy in Connecticut.  We shared prayers together.  We read Psalms 142 and 77.  We reflected, and remembered, and admitted that we don't know a whole lot about a whole lot of things.

We do, however, have faith and trust in a God who is Love, who came that we might life and have it abundantly, whose will is ever-directed to his children’s good.  And when we don’t know what else to do, prayer is always a good option.

While we don’t know everything, we do know this:

The events in Connecticut were not part of God’s plan.

They were not part of God’s will.

God did not make or allow them to happen “for a reason.”

Rather, the events were a senseless loss, a heartbreaking tragedy, a reminder of the brokenness and darkness that exists in far too many places, in far too many hearts, in our world today.  We humans have choice, and each of us has within us the capacity for both great evil and great love.  There is still much brokenness in the world and within each of us – much for God to still restore and redeem, if you will – and when we look at an event that so squarely stands in opposition to God’s desire for abundant life for all God’s children, we know that it is not the work of God.  What sense would it make for God to cause suffering so God could then redeem it?  That would be a very confused God – working one direction one moment, and then working the opposite the next.

God didn’t plan the events in Connecticut.  God didn’t orchestrate them.  God doesn’t kill children; God knows what it’s like to lose a Son, you see. God had an innocent child who was killed; and it broke God’s heart.  Where there is suffering in the world, particularly when the innocent suffer, God’s heart is still breaking.  When we weep, when we mourn, God weeps and mourns with us.

Let us continue to offer prayers for healing and hope, to hold each other close and close to God, and to commit ourselves against all odds, as we are called in this season of Advent, to a kingdom of hope, peace, joy, and love –

– in a world where it often feels like darkness and evil are winning.  Just know that they don’t get the last word.  The last word belongs to THE Word, the One who told us he was the Alpha and the Omega –

– Jesus –
– who willingly left the splendor of heaven to enter in our suffering, our brokenness, our darkness, our pain, our hopelessness.  Wherever there is suffering, Jesus is never far away.

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