Responding to Tragedy… O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (God IS With US!)

     This past week has been a hard one for our country and the world.  While violence is ever present in our lives and we see daily reminders of how shockingly horrible we can treat each other, the events of Friday in Newtown shone a spotlight on just how deep our sin has cut us.  In the aftermath of these tragic killings and many like it, there is always an over abundance of talking heads who seek to use the death of others to advance their positions.  “Gun control” advocates come on and talk about how new laws would  may have prevented this event.  “Gun rights” advocates are on the other side of the split screen talking about how if the teachers had guns they could have stopped the gunman. 

     I agree that in the midst of this tragedy there is a calling to have deep conversations about guns, violence and the mental health system.  Some of my colleagues have chosen this time as that time.  Roy Howard, Pastor of St. Marks Presbyterian in North Bethesda, Maryland for one, made an impassioned response and a call to action against violence and calling for more Gun Control.  Please email me and I can pass along his Facebook post of what he said to his congregation.  Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, has chosen to use this situation to draw attention to his beliefs about abortion and homosexuality.  For many Pastors, their judgment led them to use this event as a springboard for what they hope will be meaningful discussions about deep issues.

     I had more than one parishioner say to me prior to Sunday’s service, “I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes today.”  Continue reading