I have watched as political critics such as willzhead and Jim Wallis have said very little, an act consistent with what I have seen from them before. I have also watched as the traditional "religious right" have offered compassionate pleas for prayer. I now have friends that have offered their thoughts here and here.
I agree with the requests asking for prayer for the pastor and his family. These are my thoughts...
Many times, I am not content to sit back and watch. One of the characteristics of my personality is being somewhat analytical. This came out as I was thinking about the situation. What can we learn from what is occurring?
- None of us are immune from sin. We often times hide it, sugar coat it, build a facade around it but it is still there. We need to remember that outside of God's grace, we are all the same. Inside God's grace we can be clean.
- While I agree we need to pray for the people who attend church. I don't know that we should ask, however, that their pain, grief and other emotions are made easier. Scott Hamilton spoke at chapel at Kyle's school last week. The topic was struggling (or wrestling) with God. His point (second hand here) was that in the ancient Jewish culture, struggling against God was a badge of honor. Here in this country, we look at struggling with God as a bad thing. I hope that his church do struggle against God to understand why this is happening and through this, see God face to face.
- It shows us that we should never put my spiritual leaders up on a throne as they are as prone to sin as we are.
- It shows us that the politics of this world do not matter nearly as much as the politics of the Kingdom of God.