"They will know you are mine by your love for one another." John 13:35
My first response when I heard the news was deep sadness and anger: anger at the ease which one who was obviously troubled could take lives; sadness at the devastation this event has caused to those who survived, to the families of those who did not.
And I think that is the appropriate response when you hear life is taken, regardless if those who were lost where of your belief system or not. Regardless if you are at odds or not. Regardless of anything.
Because, to a Christian, life is precious. Life matters. Life is a gift. Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Psalms 8:4-5 says "...what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor." Our lives have value and meaning and worth to the creator of them: God.
That's why God hates murder. Proverbs 6:16-19 tell us that of the things God hates, three of them are "...hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil." All of which were commuted by this troubled man.
So, Christians, what is our responsibility to those who remain, those families left behind, the survivors of the massacre?
1)Pray for them
We are to be in constant prayer and those who suffer are to always be on the mind of the Christian.
2)Suffer with them
Romans 12:mourn with those who mourn." If your heart feels nothing, absolutely nothing hearing a list of 49 names from 49 families that are now gone, you not only need to check your Christianity, you need to check your humanity.
Colossians 3:12 says, as believers, we are to "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience...". This is a time to put on what you believe. To show that love wins. To show that love already won over two thousand years ago on an old rugged cross, that love conquered with the rolling away of the stone. And that love wins everyday with every kind act, every loving moment, every prayer in faith of the believers.
3)Correct/Chastize those who dare believe this murder was justified:
Being Pro-Life means more than just being against abortion. It also means standing for the sanctity of all life, it means being very much against murder, it means being anti guns for civilian purposes.
This is NOT the time to remind people of sin. This is NOT the time to cast judgment or condemnation. Using this time for anything but showing the love of Jesus is not only offensive, it's not Christlike. Jesus, who wept over the very vision of Jerusalem under siege, would no doubtedly feel something for those who were slain and for the families who remain.
This is the time to show mercy (Luke 6:36). This is a time for comfort (2nd Corinthians 1:4). This is the time to show grace (1Peter4:10). This is the time to show kindness.
This is the time to show love, the love that came down to save us all. This is the time to show a dark world, the only love that really matters, the love of Jesus.
Thanks for reading.