It was a normal Friday in Newtown, just over a week before Christmas. Pastor Greg Laurie, who knows the sorrow of loosing a son said, "It's Christmas time. Parents bundle up their children another day for school before Christmas vacation starts, there's shopping to do, errands to run before they pick them up."
Broken hearts. A day that will never be forgotten.
Greg Laurie's Harvest Christian Fellowship, Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Association, along with other Christian ministries, immediately sent Christian counselors to help the grieving.
Christian ministry organizations have a history of being among the first to arrive at tragic events---storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires and even wars, wherever they occur in the world.
Franklin Graham said Friday, "Senseless killings like the one we've seen today in Newtown Conn., leave us stunned and looking for answers..."
Looking for answers.
Many are looking for answers, while some seek to exploit this tragic moment.
Franklin said, "The Bible tells us the human heart is 'wicked' and 'who can know it'."
As Christian ministries and their leaders gather in Newtown, Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, and Chicago as a result of shootings over the past few days, the secular left has quickly politicized the moment, seizing what they see as an opportunity to advance their gun control agenda, with A/G Eric Holder, NYC Mayor Bloomberg, secular progressive lawmakers and even the President raising the issue, even before families have been able to bury their dead.
This is not the time.
Please let the broken, grieving families weep and bury their dead.
Local Newtown Pastor Rocky Veach says "I think its indicative of the condition of our culture in this nation that this kind of thing continues to happen."
Indeed. I'll write more on that later.
It was pastor and author Max Lucado who perhaps spoke most poignantly to the moment, through this prayer he wrote specifically for those who are grieving:
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off…"
He continued, "Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence…"
He concluded, "This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Thankful. Be Blessed.