Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bombs in Boston

Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; protect me from men of violence, who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day. They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips. 

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet. Proud men have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.

O Lord, I say to you, "You are my God." Hear, O Lord, my cry for mercy. O Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle . . . Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you. (Psalm 140:1-7, 13 NIV)

Hearts are broken for the people of Boston this morning. When the news breaks on the screen, we want to turn away. Not again. Not another senseless, cruel, cowardly act of violence. And the count begins, rising with each passing hour. To this moment, three people were killed, one hundred forty-two injured, seventeen in critical condition. Each one with a face and family, each one with an unfinished story, shattered hopes and broken dreams, and all of them, innocent victims of some stranger's mindless rage.

We pray for those who have lost loved ones, those who have been severely injured, and those who are still clinging to life. Our prayers also surround all who have been traumatized by having witnessed that horrific scene and for all of the faithful, courageous first responders. Let us lift up our sister churches in Boston and all those who are ministering and counseling with so many hurting people. The marathon draws participants from many countries, so the impact of this tragedy will be felt in far off corners of the world. We pray for all those who share the love of Christ in the face of evil and bloodshed.

It seems our world has devolved to the point where the random killing of innocent people is the only way to make a political statement, the only way for the powerless to feel empowered, the only way to express the anger and hatred of the heart.  The massive investigation is well underway and we can be confident that the killer or killers will be tracked down, foreign or domestic, international terrorists or the homegrown variety, people killing their own kind. I can tell you one thing for certain even now. No matter who is responsible for the bombing in Boston, it will not add up. It is an equation that will never balance. It is an answer that will never make sense to us. No matter the cause, no matter the complaint, no matter the belief, no matter how some person or group may have been wronged or abused in the past, this random killing of the innocents is never justified. It is madness. It is subhuman.

Let us all be reminded how urgent and vital is the work of the Kingdom in this sin-sick world. How desperately our world craves the light and love of the Gospel, though it cannot identify the antidote that can bring new life or recognize the bread that can satisfy its deep hunger. What this bloody, brokenhearted world needs is Jesus.

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