by Joey Newton
The church I pastor is three miles from the site of Friday’s slaughter, where 26 people were murdered. Certainly this event will in some way define and shape the spiritual life of the community for decades to come. I know it will profoundly affect my family; many of those killed were the same age as one of my three daughters.
“Weeping with those who weep” was the first and obvious biblical command to apply. It was not difficult to do. This event was tragic, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, of waking the next morning to an empty bed that would not be filled again. For those who suffered loss and are not Christians, I prayed that God would reveal himself to them, and point them to Christ. For those who do know the Lord, I sought to encourage them by reminding them that God is still on his throne, and that this—as hard as it is to
imagine—is part of his permissive will. There is good at the end of this unspeakable evil. Maybe some will come to faith in Christ through this trial. Maybe believers will be encouraged to trust God more deeply, and live for Him more faithfully. We don’t know what the good is, but we know that God’s word promises that for those who are called by God, all things work together for our spiritual good and his eternal glory.