A Christian Response to Horrific Events

By Joel A Hess

While the world digresses into chaos before every new crisis, may those in Christ remain calm and follow these simple steps in no set order.

  1. Help. Help—not by posting silly things like “I am…”  or “we are…” on Facebook. Not by hitting “like” and “love” on every politicizing post you can find. Help. Does someone need a wound bandaged? Does someone need a fear comforted?  Does someone need a tunic or pair of Levis? Does someone need a ride in your car to a nearby town and a room at the hospital until they are all better? Do not pass by, and do not equate your vain public fainting as actual help.
  2. Pray. Immediately get down on your knees, you proud son of a gun, and pray. Pray for those who have been hurt. Pray for those who are helping. Pray for justice in this world. Pray for mercy from God. Pray that it never happens again. Pray that the Good News of Jesus rescues people from the temporary drama of the world.
  3. Repent. Jesus makes it pretty clear in Luke 13:1. There is absolutely no reason in the world why it wasn’t you. Yeah, you. God knows what you were doing last night on the internet. You, who thought those disgusting thoughts while walking up to eat the very body and blood of Christ! Pervert, liar, thief and murderer. It could have been you, and people would be whispering the same thing about you when your face came up on the evening news: “Ahhh, he had that coming.” Like all of us beggars, repent and find refuge in the blood of Jesus!
  4. Share. Chances are, someone near you has had their world turned upside down by this shocking event. You have a window to a reality with Christ at its center! The whole world stands amazed and perplexed about death and sin. Like people living in a ball rolling down a hill, they feel completely out of control. You have words of eternal life! They need you because they need Jesus.
  5. Serve locally. Don’t worry about what’s going on half way across the world. What has God put in your hands? To whom are you called to serve and love? What has God given you to do? Flip burgers at McDonalds? Supervise teachers as a Jr. High Principal? Who has been put in your charge? You are Christ’s footprints in that silly footprint poem! Start walking.
  6. Read/Listen. Satan likes to fluster us and shake our little snow globes. For a moment, we can come completely undone. For a moment, it can seem quite dark and upside down. Then Satan likes to paint his own little picture of reality. Grab the only thing that is stable: God’s Word. Even well-seasoned pastors can forget their desperate need to cling to God’s Word and the reality laid out in it. For in it, we discover that nothing we are witnessing is of any surprise or peculiarity with the history of man, Satan, and sin. God is still in his heavens. Grace still flows from Jesus’ wounds to even the most creative and outlandish of our sins. And our Lord is still coming in glory where there will be no more violence, sin, death, or tears! Come, Lord Jesus. Amen