God most high, You alone are comfort. You alone are hope. The world we live in is absolutely desolate, totally devoid of the eternal permanence that our souls need. You alone offer us joy and peace in the midst of death and suffering. May You give us now the peace of Your Presence. Draw us close to You; fill us with You, God, that we may find rest. In Jesus’ most worthy name, Amen.
To all of those affected by this awful thing, I don’t know what to say. May you be blessed infinitely with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms—may the God of all comfort touch you with peace and rest in Him. May your eyes rest on Jesus and be satisfied in Him, and may you be welcomed into eternity with God as your greatest love on this Earth.
Godliness is the only hope of humanity. Living a life that honors God, a life of love to God, is the only way to escape the torture of a temporal existence. We are all doomed to die one day, whether our lives on Earth are short or long, but we are not all doomed to die all days—we are not all doomed to die eternally. Turn to God and fill your lives with eternal hope.
Do not pretend that there is hope in this life, which is doomed to end. Don’t be satisfied with platitudes, and with a sentimental attitude that preaches hope in this life. It’s not true. Instead, escape this life. Escape death with Jesus, who paid for your sins so that you could live forever in the delight of God’s Presence. As the Israelites escaped Egypt in the exodus, so we too escape death and slavery to find freedom in Heaven after we die. Come with us.
But to the rest of us, the majority of people who have not been personally affected by the tragedy, I say this: The next days and weeks will be filled with analysis of the social causes, the political causes, of this event. Gun control laws. Social programs. How to make families work better, how to make schools safer, etcetera.
But let me ask you something, Church, as we navigate these questions: Even if we had perfect gun control laws, whether that means a lot or a little, and even if our families functioned perfectly, completely supportive and completely loving all the time, would that make humanity less evil?
Evil is the absence of God. That’s why terrorism exists--because people are molded by desires that do not honor God. Do perfect social structures and perfect political structures cause God to come dwell with men? Do they change man’s nature, filling him with the Holy Spirit, causing him to be reborn into a loving, holy relationship with God, causing him to resemble God in love and in truth?
No. The removal of evil is the only way to stop tragedies like this, and Church, we have been given this task, through preaching the Word, prayer, and living holy lives. Our prayers are infinitely effective for the salvation of those around us, our preaching is guaranteed to stir the hearts of God’s children, and our holiness enters us into the only true peace which exists on Earth. In short, our work is effective to draw the lost, and we must draw the lost if they are to be made less evil.
Live a holy, somber life today, a life of prayer and remembrance of the mothers and fathers who lost their babies. Talk to someone about God—actually talk to them. Don’t pretend that actions are enough. God did not create the Heavens and the Earth through His holy act, but through His holy Word. So He does not create faith in men through acts alone, but He has chosen to do so through words. Speak faith into them through prayer and preaching.
May the love of God fill you today.