“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” –Matthew 5:9
Brothers and Sisters,
There are thousands of people offering their thoughts and prayers to the community of Las Vegas and families in the aftermath as we all process the violence of Sunday evening’s shooting injuring more than 500 people while also ending the lives of 59 thus far. And I, too, have carried the people impacted by this tragedy in my heart and prayers throughout these past two days and will continue to ask God to help us all heal from this senseless loss of the future for so many. A disturbing reminder of the fragility of life and a world in need of Christ.
The horrific events of Sunday evening stole futures and forever changed the lives of those who remain. We must seek a new a way to address the evil that is gun violence in America and our unwillingness end it as a nation.
Sadly, these occurrences are a part of every community in America today, and we continually fall short in honoring these "stolen futures" in our actions and deeds justly. And in the pain of yet another tragedy, we are left wondering, “Why?”
Nevertheless, there are thousands upon thousands who will never forget the day or the moment that a gun aimed broadly at a crowd changed forever indefinitely. In the days to follow, will we remember to continue thinking and praying for and with the survivors?
All of our children, family, and friends should know safety and peace on the streets of which they live, in their schools, in our homes, in our churches, and in every place in America. May we be peace and offer places of safety as we look to the Lord to be our refuge and strength.
We must never stop remembering lives lost, praying for healing and peace, but we must not only stop there. God calls us all to be peacemakers, and it is time to encourage conversations that help address the escalation of
gun violence in our country and to ensure that the futures stolen or forever changed are not forgotten as just another day in America.
Darlene Neckers, our Conference Prayer Coordinator, shared a special prayer dedicated to those who are left inconsolable from this act of terror:
We do not know what goes on in the spiritual realm when we pray. We do know, however, that when we pray according to God's will we receive access, through Jesus, into the very presence of God, who has authority over all enemies; visible and invisible. Let us put our trust in our Victorious Warrior and pray. Spend time with God and seek God’s will. Listen for God’s ways and thoughts and pray boldly, asking in the powerful name of Jesus. In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
Let us end this nightmare and move on to a future with hope.
Julius C. Trimble