This is Kelly. Like I wrote in my last Christian themed article, I am not a trained theologian, just a guy who spends lots of time with his bible and in prayer. As you may have heard on today's show I used to live in Danbury, the town next to Newtown. Today I have watched my facebook feed fill up with friends who were friends with some of the adult victims, and friends with the parents of the victims expressing amazing pain over the loss of innocent lives. It's been a horrible day, but still I praise God.
The President just spoke about the murder of 20 students and 6 adults in Newtown CT. He ended it with "nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours.”
We have been taking phone calls all day from people who are angry, afraid for their kids, feeling hopeless. I would suggest that those feelings are the feelings of disorder. Those feelings need to go. 1st Corinthians 14:33 promises God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. If you truly believe that God has you in His hands then you have the power to ask the question asked in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 Death where is your victory? Death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we are all in mourning, non-believers or people who may not be certain of their faith may wonder how can Christian's ask 'death where is your sting'? It's obvious that Christian's and non Christians alike are crying.
The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:25 "Jesus wept". He is crying over the death of his friend Lazarus. He knew Lazarus wasn't gone forever. In fact moments later Jesus dramatically called Lazarus from the tomb. That's a picture for us. Whether it's a moment later or a lifetime later in the scope of eternity it's really a short seperation. Today's victims have escaped all of life's pains now. The parents have not. We cry with them, like Jesus cried with Lazarus's family. Pain in this life is unavoidable. So we cry here, but know that pain, like this life, is temporary. God will wipe every tear away, and pain will be no more. Revelation 21:4.
The power of forgiveness is a transforming thing. Remember the forgiveness the families of the murdered Amish children demonstrated a few years ago? USA Today had a great piece on their forgiveness. They refused to speak badly about the shooter.They went to the home of the widow of the gunman and brought her food and flowers. The widow, and many around the country, couldn't believe this gesture. It helped to heal the community. The USA today story mentioned at the end that the week before the murders a hit & run driver had killed another Amish child. The parents said publicly "whoever did this we extend our forgiveness to them. We would like to invite them to our house so we can tell them this in person". The driver read it, came to their house, was forgiven and turned himself in. Forgiveness doesn't mean forget it, but part of it means let the proper authorities handle it. Jesus commands that we forgive in Mark 11:25.“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." If you are a Christian forgive. Let God judge, and you be His child. This will help you tremendously!
If you are one of the people who have no idea if God is real or think you may be a Christian because you go to church, but can't understand how Christian's can say death has no sting, then tonight, or whenever you read this, take some time to pray. Revelation 3:20 Jesus says "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and him with me". Pray that you'll hear Him. God is a God of peace. The world is filled with disorder and no matter how hard we try, we are unable to prevent horrific things. True peace comes from knowing Him. Not all the answers. Because if you knew all the answers you would be in control. Rest in His strength, and know that you and your loved ones are ultimately safe with Him. I'm going home to hug my son for a long long time and thank God for helping me remain calm in this chaos we call life.