Sunday evening was numbing. As Rob and I sat and watched the news coming from Sutherland Springs, Texas, we could do little more than shake our heads and wonder what on earth we were supposed to do with yet another tragedy, one that felt particularly close knowing that we also went to church that morning but we came home safe. I'm sure a lot of you had the same numbing feeling of sadness and helplessness.
Patti Miller, the pastor of Evangel Church in Montreal, blogged her response to Sunday's mass shooting and I found it honest, thoughtful and most of all, a poignant reminder that all of us can respond and we are called to respond. Here is Pastor Patti's post - I've used it with her permission. Click here to head over to her original post.
What else can we say? What else can we pray?
May the world see Jesus in us today.
A New Conversation
Ugh, I am just sickened today. And angry.
Sutherland Springs, Texas. 27 people dead. Another - another - mass shooting south of our border.
And the same conversations. Gun control vs mental health vs religion vs racism vs politics vs founding fathers vs thoughts and prayers.
We live in a world now where "thoughts and prayers" are scorned, by the way. I'm of the "DO something" ilk too, but I sure would hate to live in a society where no one even pauses to express sympathy or pray in horrible moments. I mean, I get it. People are so angry and frustrated. Nevertheless, the conversations look the same to me, circling around, going nowhere.
I'm watching for a new conversation.
There are moments in history when someone tenaciously leads a new conversation, does something different, and changes the world. William Wilberforce. Martin Luther King Jr. Agnes Macphail. Mother Teresa. William & Catherine Booth. Martin Luther.
Someone who rises above the paralyzing bickering and the helpless handwringing and the sickening politics of the day. Who is ridiculously committed to doing what is right, to finding a solution, to changing their world, no matter what.
No. Matter. What.
I'm watching for that. Praying for that.
But meanwhile, I can't simply sit on the sidelines, watching and praying.
I'm responsible for my own time and my own place in history. I can't just wait for someone else to rise up. Nor can I toss up my hands and give up on the world, withdraw into selfish preservation of what matters to me only. I don't have that option.
I'm responsible to live today, tomorrow, the next day - here and now - as a wholehearted follower of Jesus. Tenaciously doing good, loving people, welcoming the marginalized, comforting the hurting, giving generously, keeping my word, forgiving offence, calling for truth and justice, loving those who don't love me. I committed to that long ago, and it won't change.
May my world see Jesus in me today.
Pastor Patti Miller
November 6, 2017
Our inbound message is called Sure:
"Doubtless you are aware that there are many faiths that one could chose from. Certainly, followers of other religions are as intelligent and devout as we are. So, how can we be sure that our faith is the right one - the true one? Is Jesus really the only way? Does being sure about this actually make a difference? I gather if Jesus addresses this issue, it might be worth talking about. Let's do it this Sunday." - Bjorn