And God Will Wipe Away Every Tear From Their Eyes

May 25, 2022

Leadership Notes


I hate that elementary school students have to be taught how to defend themselves against people who might walk into their schools with guns. Our schools here in Tecumseh have a locked door system where you can only get in the building if you are known or expected. It is designed to prevent the kind of random attack that happened in Texas yesterday {May 24}. But nothing is 100% safe.


We are heartbroken. There are so many questions. After the tragic loss of life when the Tower of Siloam collapsed, people asked Jesus what it all meant. You can read about it in Luke 13. Jesus wanted them to understand that tragedy can strike anytime, anyplace; therefore, we need to be right with God. The immediacy of anguish gives way to questions of eternity.


Yesterday's murderer was a psychopathic ghoul. 1 Peter 5:8 says:


Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like

a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.


One woman, commenting on this passage, observed, "Satan despises humans, who were created in God's image. Since he can't harm God directly, he directs his anger against God's children on earth…He's a hateful murdered whose aim is to destroy us and our relationship with God."


As we've seen in The Revelation to John, God's wrath is poured out on those who are in cosmic rebellion against His grace and mercy. The promise of God's holiness is that this soulless killer is subject to His justice. Love wins for those who are in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. That is especially true for those lovely children who were mercilessly gunned down yesterday. Our hearts ache not only for their loved ones left behind, but also for the lives that could have been but now aren't.


We saw our hope and promise in Revelation 7:15-17:


“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


Will we be prepared when tragedy strikes? Do we have a Biblical worldview through which to see the best and worst of human behavior?


In the days to come, lots of people will share all kinds of thoughts on the tragedy in Texas. There are many lenses through which people understand such things.


One commentator has called it, "American Madness." But we have not now, nor have we ever held a monopoly on madness. The pages of history are littered with the horrible fallout from human madness. Only faith in Jesus Christ can cure the curse of our cosmic rebellion against God.


One thing we know is that the profiles of America's mass shooters don't fit into an easy political box {Bari Weiss, May 25, 2022}. The 18-year-old who massacred black shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, was a white supremacist attracted to evil conspiracy theories. A shooter who targeted Christians at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California, was Chinese. The recent shooting at a Korean spa in Dallas was carried out by a young black man. Yesterday's heinous acts were carried out by an 18-year-old Hispanic male. It appears his guns were legally purchased.


What they all have in common is they were psychopathic animals. Both predictability and cure are elusive. Answers usually exceed our grasp.


What we don't need are politicians who pontificate. One has said, "It's long past time for action, any kind of action." It seems to me the time for whatever kind of action he's referring to could have happened while he held the executive branch and both house of congress. Another leader chimed in with, "When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" Again, when political leaders have had decades to stand up, it's an interesting charge to make. And then, if such pontificating isn't enough, the Pope himself said, "Tragedies like this cannot occur again…It's time to say 'Enough' to the indiscriminate trade of weapons!" That's about as substantial as a "Miller Lite" or a meatless burger

.

The reality is that mentally ill people are getting their hands on guns to commit mass murder. This is deranged and wrong. There are no simple solutions. Certainly outrage dressed up in platitudes will get us nowhere. All I know is that there are no easy answers to the social rot we find ourselves mired in. Pastors, poets, and politicians grope for answers. As do you and I.


Of all the prayers you are praying, I encourage you to be especially mindful of the first responders who were first on the scene and remain there. Pray for the churches and the funeral homes doing the hard work of preparing to bury the dead. And most of all, pray for the families who will never be the same. I am reminded once again of Martin Luther's classic hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God:


And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God has willed his truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers no thanks to them abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours through him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God's truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever!


Yesterday morning, children and teachers headed off for another day at Robb Elementary School. No doubt, fresh on their minds was the reality that school was almost over. Summer vacation would soon be here. Twenty-one of them would not return home. Once again, there is brokenness in the land.


For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will

wipe away every tear from their eyes.


And together, the people of God cry out, "Maranatha…Come Lord Jesus!"


Now, your Moment of Spurgeon:


"The Holy Ghost in regeneration descends into a man, and creates in him a

new nature; he does not destroy the old, that remains still to be battled

with, and to be overcome."


With Much Love and Affection,


Richard

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