The tragic event at Las Vegas has left the world wondering again. What’s more frightening, a shooting or bombing with a known religio/political goal or something like Las Vegas where the search for any purpose has so far been fruitless?
But then, reasons don’t mean much when your loving family member is no longer in your world, or you’ve suffered gunshot injuries which may affect your life forever.
There is something very sad about the term ‘lone gunman’. In one way it reassures us there is not an army out there, but the characteristics of this man seem to indicate he was indeed alone with thoughts which he allowed to lead him to this horrible act.
At a distance we can only hold people in our thoughts, pray, and stand with them in solidarity in a world which seems more and more frequently to be going mad. (and keep vigilance over the gun control we CAN manage!).
David Tacey writes of the increasing chaos in our world in his book Darkening Spirit. He argues that as, more and more, the world rejects any spiritual basis to our lives, there is a compensating movement in society which is difficult and angry and dark. In a progressive church like St Andrew’s it is more and more important therefore that we keep on insisting there is still reason to have faith, that we keep on trusting, that we model how to retain hope, and that we offer a life undergirded by spiritual values. As the mainstream western church in general declines, we have a greater responsibility to make known the Way Jesus urged us to take in ways accessible to 21st century people. We may discard out-moded ways of talking about this, but the underlying truths are still valid. I agreed with David Tacey that our world is suffering from their absence in our society. As Las Vegas and Manchester, London and Paris have shown us, this is of life and death importance in a way we haven’t quite seen before.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with what is happening worldwide. Look around YOUR world. Identify someone who would benefit from you sharing something of the Love which undergirds your life – and share it in the way appropriate for you both. Let’s light candles in the dark together before there’s another tragedy.
On Sunday we reflect on some of the characters, people like and unlike us, who courageously stated a different truth in an increasingly hostile 16th century world. After church we have our monthly congregational conversation. Hope to see you there!