Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mourning With Newtown

by Neil Schori

Evil came and slaughtered the innocents. Today, we pause to remember Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel,
Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeline Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattiolo, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Dawn Hochsprung, & Rachel Davino.

Almost immediately after Adam Lanza blasted his way through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the pundits started to politicize this horrible tragedy. They started predictable arguments that guns are the problem. Others, attempting to defend gun ownership, said that if the teachers at Sandy Hook had been armed, that this tragedy could have been avoided, or at least minimized.

I don't have all the answers to these age-old questions. I don't know why God allowed this to happen, when I wouldn't have allowed it if it had been up to me. Are we more moral than God? Not too likely. Is it because we banned prayer from public schools? I doubt it. Is it because of liberal marijuana laws or the legalization of gay marriage? I'd believe that about as much as I'd believe that Hurricane Katrina came because of the wickedness of New Orleans. I mean...the French Quarter is filled with the darkest activities in the city, and Katrina avoided damaging it at all. Doesn't sound like the work of God to me at all.

Here's what I do know: We live in a sin-filled and fallen world. And really bad things happen here. But there is an answer...and it isn't gun control. Guns can kill. That's true. But even if we confiscated and banned the use of guns everywhere, we'd still kill. Why? Because evil hides deeply in the hearts of men.

What is the answer to this evil? The answer came just over 2000 years ago in the form of a tiny baby. The Gospel of Luke 2: 8-12 says~

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

Dear Newtown: nothing can take away your pain. And we have nothing to say that will make it better. We wouldn't dare open our mouths and offer the sacrifice of fools. What happened to you is horrible and tragic. And it shouldn't have happened. And God didn't want it to happen. Our prayer for you is that you would encounter the God that came near and that we could just sit with you and mourn beside you.

With Love,


Neil Schori serves as lead pastor of Naperville Christian Church, and is a remarkable advocate for those in abusive relationships. He is a founding partner with Document the Abuse.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Pastor Neil: It seems to me that men and women of the cloth are put in an impossible position each time tragedy strikes in order to "justify God's actions." It was Not the act of God, but the act of an evil and sick man...

    We will never know the true answers,as the perpetrator and mother are dead... We can only speculate...even with so called evidence. This may be yet another wake up call re gun control , mental health issues...AND complacency.... The latter can have dire consequences as well in a materialistic, immediate gratification, keep up with the Jones' world.

    As a resident of Connecticut, I actively grieve for my neighbors...and the injustice of it all. The new legislative session in Connecticut begins tomorrow... No doubt there will be many, many proposed laws...with just a few to hit the books in the end. But,legislation is only as good as the paper it's written on...and its crafters intentions.... Therefore, we must be personally vigilant, not turn our State into a police state, not walk around in body armor... We must live in spite of...that is the ultimate power over the deranged mind. That we all live for the fallen..."in spite of" to carry on their legacy. I'm sure that's what Susan would say too. That's what we're doing for her...We must do it for the fallen children,teachers, the first responders and the community.

    Donna "Ladyjustice"


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