My beloved in Christ:
I rarely watch TV in the morning but happened to turn on the news this morning to find the horrific account of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I haven’t heard anyone say so but surely this is the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. And yes, I realize the shooter was a 64-year-old white man which will confound all news analysts, I’m sure. But to my mind, it is no less terroristic.
At this writing, 50 dead and 400+ hospitalized. It is a stunning level of carnage. We have become so used to such high numbers that we forget that 450 people, one God-loved person at a time, were struck down in what must have seemed an never-ending barrage of bullets.
Of course I ask you to pray for the victims and their family and friends. But I invite you to do something else. In your prayers, would you count slowly from 1 to 450. It will remind you, as it did me, of the magnitude of this awful crime. Cry out for mercy to the Lord with every count. And let this simple vigil of prayer remind you of the message that we are learning from the Apostle Paul in the letter to the Romans: we need saving, God help us. We need salvation and only, only Jesus offers that.
This Saturday and Sunday we will take extra time during our worship service to lay our nation, our world, our broken humanity before the Lord and cry out for his mercy and peace. Only God can do this…and thank God that even in this horror, we can be certain that he has not, nor will he ever abandoned us:
“For I’m convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other thing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39
The Lord’s peace be upon you.