And they were in terrible distress. Judges 2:15 (ESV)
Early this morning, like many of you, I heard the reporting of a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. There is little to say about this and offer up much of a thought. I have been in prayer and of a deeply troubled spirit. I’m in wonder about how the surviving children of Sandy Hook Elementary School are doing right now. I’m groaning in my heart for the parents of all. I’m sure the parents of the children who have been massacred are in great, unspeakable pain. May the Lord meet them in their cry of distress.
I will transport the children home on my school bus in about an hour. I will do so with a sober mind.
Church, it is time to be the Church.
*updated thoughts (1:48pm Mountain Time)*
May the Spirit of the Living God fall fresh upon…
- School teachers
*Some thoughts on the close of this day of tragic news… (7:45pm Mountain Time)*
Like you, I have been praying, thinking, and considering. There are too many unknowns at this point and the media news has been difficult to discern. I have preferred to leave my media consumption to a minimum, mostly reading direct manuscripts and quotes form law enforcement. Politics have been quick to beat the drum of gun control and speculation. This doesn’t seem like the right day for that conversation.
What would I do if I had minor children in my home today?
- I would gather them around my kitchen table and explain to them the tragic beginning of this day at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. I would use this raw press release from the Governor of Connecticut and State Police details. This is news without commentary. (HERE and HERE)
- Governor Malloy, said, “Evil visited this community today…” I would not hesitate to talk to my children about evil.
- I would have a map of Newtown, Connecticut to show my children where this was. (HERE)
- I would ask my children if they have any questions.
- I would read Hebrews 4:14-16:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14-16 NASB)
- I would read Deuteronomy 31:1-8:
1 So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 And he said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’ 3 “It is the LORD your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken. 4 “The LORD will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5 “The LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” 7 Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. 8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deut 31:1-8)
- I would pray with my children. I would lead this prayer. I would express sorrow and grief. I would express joy in the Lord.
- I would read (or sing) this song.
Come, Thou Fount by Robert Robinson (1758)
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.