He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)
This week has been difficult. We’ve just witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Las Vegas. Thousands of people gathered for a country concert and a night of fun and entertainment. Tragically 59 people were killed, more than 500 people were injured, and lives were changed forever because of the actions of one man and his access to 23 guns. Their calibers ranged from .223 to .308, some had scopes so he could accurately target his victims. One of the weapons was an AK-47 rifle that had a stand he used to steady his gun for firing.
We do need to pray for the victims of this deadly attack and for their families. We also need to act to start preventing these tragedies. How that looks will vary. But we dishonor the victims if we don’t have conversations about Common Sense Gun Laws and try to figure out ways to address this ongoing societal issue. Some will say it’s not the time to have such conversations. My friends, if not now—when?
At my previous church I didn’t write weekly emails. So when tragedies occurred, I would write Pastoral Letters to my congregation. I wrote a Pastoral Letter after Newtown and the Pulse Nightclub Massacre, organizing with local clergy to have candlelight vigils in Lexington. There came a point when I realized that I literally had amassed files on my computer for such services. Another mass shooting, another vigil. Another mass shooting, another pastoral letter. Go to the computer folder to remember what you said and did last time . . .
Gathering community together and sharing in one another’s grief matters. But I long for the day when we won’t have to mourn these losses anymore. Let’s pray. And let’s act.
(This Week’s Thoughts 10.6.17)