Posts tagged ‘School Shooting’

The Parkland Innocents

It happened again, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Near the close of the school day last Wednesday, a gunman opened fire in the high school’s freshman hall, killing 17 and wounding another 14.

The scenes that unfolded in Parkland have become achingly familiar. There were law enforcement officials swarming the campus.  There were kids filing out with their hands on their heads.  There were paramedics, rushing to stabilize the wounded and, awfully, to confirm the dead.

Besides the horror of the shooting itself, there is the added tragedy that the sheer volume of these kinds of events has, in some ways, deadened their effect on our collective psyche.  And yet, long after the SWAT teams and paramedics leave, long after the news crews move on to the next story, and long after the national attention fades, for the students and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the pain and terror of this shooting will remain.  Days like these may be forgotten by those who watch them on the news, but they will not be forgotten by those who live through them in real time.

Sadly, these types of tragedies have also become occasions for hot takes filled with political rancor, with those who offer their “thoughts and prayers” being labeled as disingenuous by some while those who argue for a debate on gun control being accused as opportunistic by others.  Fights erupt on social media while comfort and aid to victims often get overlooked.

As Christians, we are called to “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).  It is incumbent upon us, then, to care about and, if opportunities arise, to care for those who are affected.  While many in our culture are fighting predictably, we should be thinking critically about what events like these say about and mean for our culture so that we can offer a hopeful voice on behalf of the innocents who have had their lives unjustly extinguished.

According to the liturgical tradition of the Church, this past Wednesday was both Ash Wednesday and the Feast Day of Saint Valentine.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, when the Church focuses on Christ’s death and resurrection for us and for our salvation.  Saint Valentine was a third-century bishop in Rome who was beheaded for his faith, tradition has it, on February 14, 269.

The death of Saint Valentine reminds us that, all too often, innocents can unjustly lose their lives at the hands of evil perpetrators, as did the innocents in Parkland.  The season of Lent promises us, however, that even when innocents are killed, their lives are not ultimately lost.  For Lent points us to a moment when an innocent – The Innocent – was unjustly killed on a cross by evil perpetrators.  But in this instance, the evil perpetrators didn’t win.  The Innocent did when He conquered their cross.  And this Innocent promises life by faith in Him to the many innocents who have lost their lives since – be that by beating, by beheading, by blade, or by bullet.

A gunman took the lives of 17 students this past Wednesday.  But Jesus has plans to bring their lives back.

A rifleman, it turns out, is no match for a resurrection.

February 19, 2018 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

When Darkness Closes In: Processing a Tragedy

title_slide2The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has touched – and shattered – many lives. Last weekend in worship and ABC, the pastors of Concordia offered some thoughts on this tragedy in light of God’s Word and promises. You can check out Pastor Tucker’s message and my Adult Bible Class below.

We pray that God would comfort and keep all those devastated by this terrible travesty. And may the families find their solace and hope in God’s promise of the resurrection of the dead to eternal life!

December 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

When Darkness Closes In: Processing a Tragedy

Bethlehem StarPlease take a moment and read this brief important note from Pastor Bill Tucker and then make plans to join us for worship tomorrow at Concordia at 8, 9:30, or 11 am.

Beloved Concordia Family,

The events of Friday in Connecticut have shocked and appalled all of us.  Our hearts are broken for the children and families lost…and for those whose lives will never be the same.  I cannot imagine a person anywhere in the world who hears of this terrible tragedy that does not feel grief over what has happened.

In the wake of these events and the terrible grief we are all feeling, Pastor Zach and I have decided to divert from the planned messages for ABC and Worship tomorrow.  Instead, we will talk about what has happened and address three questions:

1.     Why?
2.     What about the precious children who lost their lives?
3.     What can we do now?

Please plan to join us.  In these times of deep darkness, we must cling to our faith and turn to our God.  Please invite your loved ones and friends to join us, as well.

You are loved!

Pastor Bill

December 15, 2012 at 11:43 am 1 comment


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