Howdy, all. I just finished writing some announcements to be read in our congregations this Sabbath and concluded with some thoughts on the Virginia Tech tragedy. I have wanted to say what I say here for a few days, but I have been just too busy — and, besides, every time I tried to put my thoughts on paper they seemed too complicated and just didn’t come out right. However, as I wrapped up my announcements I found myself finally writing more succinctly and clearly what I had been thinking all week.
I thought that it might be worth posting here for those who may not be able to make it to services tomorrow. I have copied and pasted them below. Those who understand prophecy know that hard times for our nation, and the world, lie not too far down the road. But such knowledge should not callus us to suffering — on the contrary! Even having the big picture and understanding that Lazarus’ death was to breath again in just a few moments, Jesus still wept with heartfelt compassion for the pained and the grieving (John 11:32-35). Jerusalem’s harsh treatment of her prophets did not prevent Him from wishing He could gather her children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings (Matthew 23:37). God is love. And love involves compassion.
I hate to build up what I’ve written as if it were something deep or insightful, because it really is neither. Nothing new, earth shattering, or controversial. In fact, this introduction may be longer than the comment, itself! Really, it’s just a brief personal reflection that I thought might benefit my congregations, and a reminder that events like these should enter our prayers and our conversations with our Dad in Heaven. Tragedies tend to become “objectified,” especially when they are large in scope or far away in miles or years. But all tragedies are personal — else they wouldn’t be tragedies. And seeing those families of the slain Virginia Tech students on TV should prompt those who have the Spirit of Him who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to want to gather them under our wings — to shelter, and to comfort.
Take much care, and have a wonderful Sabbath.
In Christ’s service, our common faith, and our common hope for His Kingdom —
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The tragic event at Virginia Tech this week should have all of us meditating on the need for God’s Kingdom. When Jesus spoke of the devil, He often called him “the ruler of this world”; and tragedies like this remind us that Satan is just that. Having experienced our own tragic, senseless loss in the church only two short years ago, many of us can sympathize with what these families who lost their loved ones are going through. I know that as I have begun working more and more on the pre-teen camp, Mr. Randy Gregory — whom I knew way back in our Texas days — has been very much on my mind, and the incident at Virginia Tech has only made those thoughts sharper and more focused. And more poignant, too.
God gives us the gift of heartfelt sympathy for a reason — do not neglect it! Let us all pray for the families involved, that they may find whatever comfort God in His mercy may provide them. Let us pray that they may learn to forgive, which is so vital for any real healing to take place. Let us pray, too, for the South Korean family of the shooter, who must deal with the horrible knowledge of what their son has done and of the hopelessness that filled his life leading up to this tragedy. As more details of his experiences growing up are learned, a picture is emerging that seems to show that in a very real way he, too, was a victim of the harsh and unforgiving world that Satan has crafted on this earth.
And let us all redouble our own personal efforts to PRAY FOR GOD’S KINGDOM! There IS NO OTHER SOLUTION to the suffering of this world than the loving and benevolent reign of its Creator! God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, did not craft this world intending it to witness scenes like this. And our Elder Brother is surely desirous to finally come and SET THINGS RIGHT. Let us all remember that although our desire for His Kingdom sometimes wavers in proportion to how “comfortable” our own lives are at the time, His desire wavers not. If we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).
Jesus Christ WILL come and finish the job of destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). May God speed that day.