Last Sunday, I came home to learn about the tragic shooting that took place at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Devin Kelley entered the church, began shooting and killed 25 people and an unborn child. What do we say in the midst of such tragedy? This intergenerational congregation was forever changed that day. What was once a sanctuary of peace has now become a location of grief and loss. There are endless stories of pain and loss from this one incident alone.
We live in a world that is entrenched in pain. Pain of losing, pain of fear, pain of death. We face and live in it in many different ways. Last Sunday was a revelation of how deeply pain-immersed our world is in. What do we do with such losses? We grieve with people. We pray with people. We grieve for people. We pray for people. The tragedy of First Baptist Church is a story that can happen anywhere. Tragedy knows no age, race, gender or ethnicity. Tragedy is not bound by geographical location or communities. Tragedy is the universal human experience in which we can cry out to a merciful and gracious God.
Only in Jesus Christ can we find the reassurance that we need in the midst of our greatest losses. We have a Savior knows the pain of loss. We have a Savior who wept at the death of his friend, Lazarus. We have a Savior who received great suffering and death at cross. Only in Him, can we find our losses redeemed, and our pain healed. Only in Him can we find One who can completely identify with our pain. Only Him can we find true rest in heaven. Therefore as Christians, we earnestly seek Him together with those who hurt. We earnestly seek Him when we are hurting. We grieve with those who mourn. We have people who grieve with us when we mourn.
First Baptist Church will open their doors and worship today. They can do so because of the hope of the resurrection. They see with eyes of faith that the 25 people and the unborn child is in the arms of Jesus. Praise God for resurrection. Yet, there are those who mourn today because of the pain of loss. Let us pray for them. The peace of Christ be with us all.