Pr. Cathy Daharsh
In a weeks time we heard of mass shootings in California, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas. Yet in this week’s gospel reading Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. – Luke 12:32
We find comfort in these words of Jesus, and then again we might not. I mean, if it’s your loved ones who died, your child who died, your friend who was harmed, suddenly you might have more questions than answers.
- If God is really in charge, why does God allow such horrible things to happen?
- If God really is all-powerful and almighty, why doesn’t God act to save the lives of the innocent?
- Jesus asks us to not fear. How can we not be afraid?
These are questions we wrestle with in our faith. Truth be told, there is no easy or perfect way to explain why someone would pick up a gun and shoot at a crowd of innocent people. There is no explanation that would lead us to say, “Oh, now I understand. That makes sense.”
We come together as a community of faith trying to find strength, courage, and words through the unconditional love and teachings of Jesus. That doesn’t mean we don’t struggle to understand. That doesn’t mean we don’t shake a fist at God. That doesn’t mean we don’t continue to ask tough questions. We come together in the promise of God who came to walk with us in Jesus Christ to defeat sin and death. Through our baptism we are claimed by Christ which gives us hope, courage, and strength to work through tough times in faith.
Thoughts and prayers ground us so that we might find our footing to take action in Christ. May we keep the faith and continue to be a voice in this world that aches for support and a word of hope so that we do not need to live in fear. Amen.
If you are interested in reading about how the ELCA is taking action, here’s a link for A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence https://elca.org/60days