So much irony in the timing of our recent sermon series "The Perfect Storm". This series was launched during the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and finished on the same date as the devastating mass shooting in Las Vegas. Our nation is currently experiencing "The Perfect Storm".
Sunday's senseless shooting spree has devastated and changed so many lives forever. The shock and fear will be with us all for a very long time. The questions have started...
- Why did this happen?
- If we have such a loving God why do these acts of violence happen?
- How are we to be and what are we to do?
I am going to remind us of points made in the recent sermon series which apply to these questions today. If you missed a week of the series, take a few minutes to listen here or via the Carmel UMC mobile app.
Why did this happen?
We need to remember that there continues to be a battle between good and bad at a spiritual level. Evil finds its way into the minds and hearts of humans when we are not on our guard. That evil will fill us with anger, loneliness, depression and the like hoping that those negative and harmful emotions get acted upon...as they did on Sunday night in Las Vegas. The shooter made a choice to act upon the turmoil he had in his heart and mind.
If we have such a loving God why do acts of violence happen?
Our God desires ultimately that every single human being would choose to be in relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Our Creator knew that we would not have a real, authentic relationship if we did not have free will to make that choice and others. God is always desiring that free will be used by everyone for good and right. Ultimately that free will is there for humans to use as we choose.
How are we to be and what are we to do?
We are to be more faithful, perhaps more than we have ever been. If we have left Jesus out of our life, it is time for us to reconsider that decision. We need Jesus now more than ever. We need a revival of our faith, of our churches, and of our world. This revival will only happen if each one of us drops to our knees and prays for the love and peace of Jesus Christ to rule our lives and our hearts.
My heart and prayers, along with so many others, go out to the families and friends who are so devastated. My prayer is that they will experience the supportive and guiding grace of the Holy Spirit and that they will remember that God is bigger than any storm---let's tell the storm that our God is greater than the storm!!
Rev. Patti Napier