I’ve been deeply affected by the news coming out today of the intensely tragic shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. We find ourselves asking how anybody could do something so heartless; so devoid of humanity? It seems hard to comprehend, doesn’t it?
Though I won’t go extensively into how I think it’s possible (though I did in last Sunday’s message at The Gathering), I will say briefly as a student of worldviews that it’s not hard to see how an individual can go to such unthinkable extremes if he has given up the notion that humans have intrinsic value, that they are made in the image and likeness of their Creator, or that there is a Creator at all. When life loses all meaning and the world becomes nothing but a random absurdity and hope is abandoned, a death spiral begins. At that point, even the unthinkable becomes possible and a “new reality” is born in which even children can become targets.
Regardless, though, of what goes through the mind of a mass murderer, the source can be found in Genesis 3. Sin is something that is inborn in every human being because of our rebellion towards God. We’re sinners by nature and by choice. We’re not born basically good, but the Bible makes clear that we are born in sin, capable of every form of evil and in desperate need of a savior. We often say that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Well, we could say perhaps more accurately, “Sin is the reason for the season.” We sometimes forget that the reason Christ came in a manger was to overcome the sin that is present in the world…present in us!
This is why we MUST take sin more seriously. We need to take repentance more seriously. Sin is not just a personal choice among morals or preference. It’s truly life and death, both here on earth and for eternity. The stakes could not be higher.
So, what can we do in response to such a tragedy? First, we can and must certainly pray fervently for the families of the victims of this tragedy. Then, personally, we can refocus on personal holiness, committing ourselves anew to the care and guidance of the Sovereign Lord. We can stand firm in the hope that even when it doesn’t look like it, Jesus has overcome the world. We can remind people that He is the reason for hope and the God to whom we can pray for comfort and strength.
May God grant the comfort that surpasses all understanding.