Mourn and Shine

Mourn and Shine



Romans 12:15 reminds us to “mourn with those who mourn”.  Daniel 12:3, Matthew 5:14-16 and Matthew 13:43, remind us that we are luminaries to the world of the glory and goodness of God.
Yesterday, our nation experienced another tragic shooting event.  Twenty one people senselessly killed, 19 of them young children.  The shooter was an eighteen year old boy.  While the Bible teaches us about our sin natures, it is still hard to imagine storing up this much hatred and rage at such an early age.  Our hearts hurt for the families of these young victims and for the other children who witnessed this horrible event.  May the grace and mercy of God overwhelm their hearts so that this one event does not define their entire life.
This event, as we unfortunately know, is not an isolated event.  It does not matter if you are in the subways of NYC, in a grocery store in Buffalo, or in a school in Texas, evil is seeking to do harm.  My heart was grieved when I read President Zelenskyy’s comments about the shooting.  It was a reminder of the violence that is happening all over the world. If we are not careful, we can become overwhelmed. We must support and pray for each other, especially for our children and teens.
Like many others, I am also moved to take some kind of action.  We cannot sit around while evil seeks to do what evil does.  It is important that we do not act impulsively but that we act wisely and do all that we can to limit these kinds of events.  As believers, we must remember that the weapons of our warfare are spiritual weapons (II Cor 10:4).  We must remember that this is primarily a spiritual battle.  All through the Word of God, God speaks of light that shines into darkness.  Jesus is the light and because we are in him, we shine as lights into a dark world.  Never underestimate the power of living a life of godliness and righteousness.  Now, maybe more than ever in our lifetimes, our lives of holiness, compassion, and love for the truth of God are needed. The darker things get, the brighter the light shines.  Live lives that unashamedly love Jesus, live lives that seek the knowledge of him in the Word of God, live lives that wisely live out that knowledge everyday, and live lives that love people enough that we speak to them of the life giving truth of the gospel.
Our children are taught everyday that truth is what they perceive it to be.  They are taught that they need to find their own truth.  This lie is leading them to lives of emptiness, loneliness, frustration, and anger.  Jesus is life and truth.  He, alone, is big enough to fill the void that is in our hearts. Looking inside of ourselves only leads to despair.  In the end, all roads, except one, lead to destruction and pain.  In the end, there is only one victor.  Jesus rules and reigns and those who stood with him shine as the sun.  Today, more than ever, we need to let our lights shine.  Let those in despair see the light of Jesus in us.  Don’t hide your light but love like Jesus, speak the truth like Jesus, and share the life giving message of the good news of Jesus and his saving grace.

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