Colliding With The Culture: The Connecticut Shooting

Let’s face it; our nation is ailing with morality breakdowns on every side. We are constantly being faced with the growing public sentiment of favoring the homosexual agenda and same sex marriage. The issue is soon to be heard before the highest court in the land. Two states have now legalized the use of Marijuana. And, we are now being confronted with gun violence once again. Just this year we have witnessed several terrible mass shootings in public places; a movie theater in Colorado; a shopping mall in Oregon; and now an elementary school in Connecticut.

This time six adults, and twenty innocent young children had their lives snuffed out prematurely by a crazed gunman, who was only 20 years old himself. There is a horrific grief that comes with the senseless murder of little children. Even the President of the United States was shedding tears as he talked about this latest tragedy. I walked through the halls of our school this afternoon, just glancing into each classroom. Tears began to well up in my eyes as I considered the value of these young, fragile lives. “What if that had been our school?” whispered the thoughts in my mind. None of us can imagine the horror and deep sense of loss the surviving family members are experiencing.

There must be time for grief. Feelings of anger will also rise in the aftermath of this recent shooting. A sense of resolve will eventually come as family members search for closure. But, in the midst of these painful experiences we also must decide what we are going to do about all of this. What will be our response?

Politicians have already begun to re-ignite the fiery arguments on stricter gun control laws. The media will be pushing their agenda over the next week or so. If history is true, eventually the noisy conversations that have suddenly erupted about this issue will dissipate and disappear.

The people of God have been given an assignment to collide with this culture. Jesus called us the “salt of the earth”. We have penetrating influence here in the natural realm of earth life. Jesus also termed us the “light of the world”. We have penetrating influence in the spiritual realm, exposing what is hidden in darkness, and revealing the purpose of God throughout all creation. When we exercise authority as salt and light our collective significance increases exponentially. We have to get our flavor back, and we have to get our brightness amped up.

II Chronicles 7:14 remains as kind of a “true north” point of reference for any nation experiencing insurmountable turmoil. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

We realize what it means to be the people of God. We understand that we are called by God’s name. That is our identity. We humble ourselves. That’s a tough one for us. It requires that we admit we are not always right; and we stop trying to be right all the time. We see it is better to keep covenant than to have to be right all the time.

We turn from our wicked ways. That is equally tough for us. There is something deep within the human soul that is twisted like a wicker chair. That twisted place is what stirs a man to kill his own mother, and then shoot and kill 20 children and six other adults. That twisted place is what stirs pride in our hearts that will divide us from God, and from one another.

God tells us to pray, and to seek His face. It seems to me that these terms describe a crucial place of relationship; a place of closeness; a place of intimacy. Desperation and perseverance are involved because we are told to seek. We seek for God; His will; His purpose; His ways.

God will hear us. He will forgive us. He will heal our land. Do we really believe that? If we do believe it we will obey the God-given directives of this verse.

There is obviously much work that will have to be done; and much time will be invested in the efforts of transformation. But, the invested time and effort must be fueled by Spirit-empowered prayer. Do we care enough to do it?

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