(This message was originally published on December 15, 2012) My fellow ministers of the Gospel,
As many of you who receive this email have the calling and bear the responsibility to preach and teach the Word of God, minister to the flock, and serve as ambassadors for Christ to your community, I wanted to pass along my prayers for you and a brief response.
Personally, my wife is an elementary school teacher and two of my three children are in elementary school - my youngest is in kindergarten. The news of this crime moved all of us to tears and the need to drive us to our knees. May the Lord give you the strength and the wisdom to lead and speak to His church in these days. Many will look to ministers of the Gospel for a sure word in an unsettling world.
Dr. Mohler wrote a response last night, here are several highlights that you may find useful as you serve. The link to the entire article is below.
How should Christians think and pray in the aftermath of such a colossal crime? We Affirm the Sinfulness of Sin, and the Full Reality of Human Evil. We Affirm the Cross of Christ as the Only Adequate Remedy for Evil. We Acknowledge the Necessity of Justice, Knowing that Perfect Justice Awaits the Day of the Lord. We Grieve with Those Who Grieve.
He closed his article with the following: Thus says the LORD: "Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country." [Jeremiah 31:16-17]
God, not the murderer, has the last word. For those in Christ, there is the promise of full restoration. Even in the face of such unmitigated horror, there is hope. "There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to your own country."
I received word that we have a Southern Baptist seminary alum who pastors in Newtown, CT. He was at the scene Friday ministering to families. Other pastors in the area that are part of our convention of churches are nearby as well. Please continue to pray for these brothers as they minister in the area personally grieving and coping with this senseless act.
Below is a web link to an article written by Dr. Mohler, one of our Southern Baptist seminary presidents. I wanted to pass it along to you as an additional resource as you preach the Word and minister to the church and community.
The Lord is Your Rock and Your Redeemer, may He use you in the days ahead. May we encourage one another in these days...