Thursday, April 19, 2007

This week

It has been a week of shock, pain, and grief here in Virginia.

After the shootings at Virginia Tech we've been busy at church with checking on our students that were on campus (thank God, they're all fine), quickly planning prayer services for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, preparing the church for a conference we're hosting on Saturday, holding a coffee house event Saturday evening, and having the youth of the church present the worship services this Sunday.

In the midst of all this we have taken time to ask the question I don't think many are asking. Not "why" but rather "did he really know Jesus?" And we have continued to lift up those of the Virginia Tech community with prayer.

This troubled young soul who committed these acts of violence was in need of much help. But for some reason he wasn't able to get the help he needed. The questions about gun control, response by law enforcement after the first shooting, and who's ultimately responsible have no bearing on this situation. The true question that we, as followers of the Christ, need to ask is, "Do these young people know about the saving grace of Jesus?" And if they don't, how do we communicate that message to them.

We lost 2 students in the Hampton Roads area from this incident. Both were active in their faith communities, Baptist churches I believe, and they will be greatly missed by the members of their congregations. I can't imagine the pain that the parents are feeling. I have 4 children, 2 of whom are currently in college. One of them here in Virginia, the other in Tennessee. Not close, and I know that I would have dropped everything to have gotten to them as quickly as possible should anything like this have happened. I pray God that never occurs.

But as Christians we aren't immune to suffering. Scripture says that the rain will fall on both the good and the bad but we, as the forgiven people of God through Christ, know that everything works out in the end. If the Book of Revelation does nothing else it tells us that God wins. So we need to be sure that we introduce as many people to Jesus as possible. For without Him, there is no hope.