If you are like me, your week began with a very rocky start upon hearing the horrific news of yet another mass shooting in our country: 58 people killed and hundreds wounded during what should have been a wonderful evening of fun, joy, and entertainment. It gripped me to my core and I struggled to find words as I have so many times in these situations.
When will it end? How can we, as civilized people, make sense of such senselessness? I tried to place myself among those whose loss is unspeakable although I know that I cannot fully do that. I wondered how a person could get to such a state of mind to perform such a calculated and despicable act.
In my sermon last Sunday, I encouraged listeners to consider the pressing issues of our generation that are calling to us.
“We cannot rest on the laurels of the past. We cannot say, look at what our
ancestors did – good or bad – as though that is enough forever. We cannot
blame them, or hide behind them, or stand on their efforts. No, we are called
to serve the present age. What does life and faith call [us] to right here, right now?”
We are called into communion with one another and it is our Christian responsibility to ponder such questions until we find faith-filled answers. I am convinced that one of our most effective tools is our right and privilege to cast our votes for those issues and people on every level whose values and views most align themselves with our own and the greater good of all. On the micro level, we can connect the dots between ourselves and our brothers and sisters; our neighbors that we encounter every day. Be mindful. Show kindness. Forgive. Express gratitude. Let go. Listen. Act with integrity.
This Saturday, I will sit with my sons at their grandmother’s funeral in South Carolina. I plan to hold them close and look into their eyes and tell them how much I love them. If you have people you love dearly, I hope you will find some time to do the same. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Work toward healing love and reconciliation. We’re in this together. It’s called “Holy Communion.”
Grace and peace,