"Went to Church and Didn’t Come Home"
In Sutherland Springs Texas, 50 people went to church this past Sunday morning and 27 didn’t return home. The next time these folks gather at church for a worship service they will be cradled by a casket.
Ravi Zacharias asked the question running through most of our minds. He said, “How does one respond to the cold-blooded murder of people gathered on a Sunday morning to worship our Lord?”
The killing took place at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas during the morning worship service. Ravi went on to say, “It is hard to know how we can even process one tragedy after another that destroys lives, brings heartache to families, and brutally slaughters so many. It is beyond understanding. We know so little at this point, but I can imagine the homes tonight of many whose families have been shattered in such a senseless fashion. This is not just a tragedy. This is an atrocity.”
Ravi continues, “I hear from friends all over the world asking, “What has happened to America?” The reality is that hate and anger are precursors to killing, assuming the killer was a normal person–whatever that means these days is in itself a puzzle. It is time to pray for the stopping of hate in our land. We cannot survive as a people if we do not know where to take our hatred and anger. Killing is not the answer. The healing of the heart is the needed cure for the soul. For that, only the cross is the ultimate healer of the human malady. Mockers will mock the gospel. They have no understanding of God’s outstretched arms to humanity. I have said many times that sin and evil have the built-in power to boomerang. You sin against somebody, they sin against you. Sin always has the built-in possibility of being avenged. Only at the cross did sin not bounce back. Sin stopped: our Lord said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The power of the cross to change an evil heart is God’s answer to our brokenness. Let us pray for the heartbroken families and for the healing of their pain. Our hearts go out to them and their community in Sutherland Springs. May there be the arms of friends to hold them through this grief and the strength of God to sustain them. Those who died were in worship of their Lord and are now in His visible presence. The killer, too, has now stood before his maker and found out death is not the end.”
This Sunday we are going to take a break from the series we’ve been studying to address the question many people are asking … again: “Why? Why does God allow such pain and suffering?”
I do hope to see you Sunday as we attempt to find something redemptive in the recent tragedies that still sting us all.