What Can We Do About the Tragedy in Newtown CT?
I’m taking a one day break from our Christmas advent series to talk about the shooting in CT. I’m not planning on talking much about it, many others have said many things. My thoughts this morning are simply on “what can we do?” Law enforcement, school and government officials have lots of decisions to make on changes to procedures or even laws. But I don’t have an affect on any of that and you probably don’t either. So what can we do? Here are two ideas:
1. Pray! Pray that all those involved receive God’s grace, comfort and mercy in their lives. Pray for the families of the children who were killed. Pray for the families of the adults who were killed. Pray for all of the children and teachers in that school on Friday. Pray for all of the police and emergency responders who were involved. God is able to comfort them. God is able to bring healing into their lives and He wants to do that…if He is allowed to do so. Please pray and pray consistently.
2. Provide hope. It is only believers in Jesus who can truly provide hope in times like this. Those who do not believe in God cannot offer any hope of eternity for the victims or any hope that loved ones could one day see their children again. I believe that those who die before they come to realize the consequences of their sin are given an eternal home in heaven. I believe this would apply to the young children in CT. If you don’t believe in God, can you give any hope of eternity to these children? No. But I can provide this hope. I can also tell others how they can have this same hope and how they can too go to heaven. That leads me to my last thought for this post.
3. Make disciples. I hope that doesn’t sound too strange to you. When things like this happen people inevitably and rightly, search into the perpetrator’s background for clues and evidence as to why someone would do such a horrible thing. There are usually signs or indicators but rarely can a specific cause or trigger be found. The human heart is very deceitful and none of us are fully aware of the evil that we are capable of…but those without a relationship with Jesus Christ are more capable of evil because God does not live within them. True followers of Jesus Christ have been redeemed from sin. Sure, followers of Jesus Christ still sin and some do some very bad things, but a true follower of Jesus would never, in my opinion, do something like what we saw in CT.
So, what can we do? We can do all that we can to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ. We can do all that we can to fulfill Jesus’ commands to go and make disciples of all the nations. When we do that, we bring people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. We introduce them to a God who can and will fundamentally alter their thinking and their actions as they are brought into relationship with Him and indwell by the Holy Spirit.
This is not all that we can do or should do. We should also weep and mourn. As I type there are other things that come to mind but if we do the things I’ve mentioned above, we will be a significant part of the healing process now and as we move forward.