Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech and Spring Break

At seminary, we do not have spring break. Technically speaking, it is called "Reading Days." We get a week off, giving us an opportunity to do the reading we've undoubtedly gotten behind on. Mine was a spring break as I got to spend a wonderful week with my family and didn't do as much reading as I should have done. I also was able to be at the burial service for a close friend who passed away recently. I did not make it for the funeral service that was the day before Easter, but I was extremely thankful for the opportunity to make it to the burial and to visit with many of our mutual friends, church members, and her family. I am thinking about doing a series of 4 or 5 posts about the ways that this blessed saint helped me grow and learn more about Jesus Christ (It's hard to call her a saint without tearing up even now). But that is for some other time. My point is to explain where I've been for over a week after boldly proclaiming that "I'm Back!"

I've been thinking a lot about my friend Karen's death and find myself remembering odd things at odd times. I can only imagine what the friends and family of those murdered at Virginia Tech must be thinking. It will be months of remembering the little oddities and idiosyncrasies about their classmates for some. For others it will be a wound deep in the heart of a mother, father, sister, or brother, best friend...a wound that will never be healed.

I don't want to say much more about the hard days ahead for these folks who will be forever changed this evil act, mainly because no words seem right in my mind. I hear people discussing this for the purposes of pushing their own ideologies and political agendas and I hear many, in the media at least, sensationalizing the story. But I know there is an answer to why this happened. There is a solution to the problem that caused it. It's just not going to be found in punditry or from politicians or from the anti-gun lobby.

Sin is the reason.
There is only one solution to it.

I want to refer you to a post at Tim Challie's Blog. He is acquainted with a couple of pastors in Blacksburg. He posted some emails and correspondence he's kept for the last two days. One email gives some prayer requests and details about the prayer service that was held last night and he quotes one of the speakers who referenced (i know it's confusing) an email from his Archbishop Emannuel Koliny of Rawanda. He quoted a Benediction that was dear to the hearts of many African believers, one that has been spoken in response to many atrocities on that continent. Here is the link to the entire post. The benediction is below.

Let us all pray earnestly that God will work and heal and pour out His Spirit so that this evil act will be used to unite strong families and churches, to rally the hopeless, and awaken the sleeping for the Glory of the Almighty God who is the only soothing balm for the pain of this life through his Son Jesus and the Spirit that is within those who love him. Our hope is not in the quick response of a police precinct, or in the wisdom and judgment of a university president. It is in Jesus Christ, who died for our sin, arose from the grave according to scriptures ascended to God's right hand and intercedes now for us, leaving us his Holy Spirit to help us till the day he comes again to judge sin and evil and to reign forevermore where we will have every tear wiped and every eye dry. God speed the day of your appearing.

Minister: All our problems . . .

People: We send them to the cross of Christ!

Minister: All our difficulties . . .

People: We send them to the cross of Christ!

Minister: All the devil's work . . .

People: We send them to the cross of Christ!

Minister: All our hopes . . .

People: We set on the risen Christ!

Minister: Christ, the Son of Righteousness, shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path: and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you, forever and ever. Amen.

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