A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An E-mail Response to Questions about Connecticut Tragedy & Our Faith

Here is my e-mail response to someone who has questions about dealing with fear in light of the Connecticut shootings.  In hindsight, I could have included more about the role of many of the Psalms in helping us to express our fears and longings which are important Season of Advent themes.  My response below wasn't meant to be "thee answer" but to emphasize how our Christian faith relates to the presence of evil and suffering in our world.

Thank you for reaching out for spiritual support. Like you, I have been deeply saddened over the terrible tragedy in Connecticut. We have been reminded of our vulnerability and our need to trust in God daily even in the midst of chaos and violence.
The overall theme/story of the bible is that even though evil is real, God will one day restore creation and make it new like it was always meant to be. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus give us a glimpse of the resurrection that one day awaits all of God's people and even creation itself. The ending chapter of the Book of Revelation speaks of heaven descending upon earth when there will be new heavens and a new earth. We at least know how the story ends.
In the meantime, we long for this to be fulfilled in the here and now. Through the Holy Spirit, we are called to offer God's healing love to all people and in all places. And when we have unanswered questions or become afraid, we encourage each other with the good news of our faith. Even with all of the evil that is in the world, there is still much that is good and so much beauty and love.
I hope this is helpful and invite you to join us for worship as this helps us to be open to God's presence in our midst.
May God bless you and your family during this difficult time and may the hope of Christmas bring you great joy.

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