We, as a church, mourn along with the rest of the world in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. While there are no words that can make sense of any of this, we implore the church to pray, pause, grieve, love, serve, and hope.
"It’s easy for some to write off prayer as actionless words in the face of tragedy. But for Christians, prayer couldn’t be farther from inaction. And so in the face of this shooting, Christians need to pray: pray for the victims who are now fighting for their lives in hospitals. Pray for families and friends who lost someone last night. Pray for the City of Orlando and its law enforcement officials and first responders. And pray for the Church, that in Orlando and around the country Christians will be those first to speak words of care and reach out in compassion to those affected." [source]
"In the wake of mass violence, a common pattern is emerging among tech-literate, socially connected Christians. Rather than hearing the news and turning to God, we turn first to social media." [source]
"... let’s bear patiently with those who [argue] about the politics on social media. For many of them, the jump to talk about gun control or Islam or military preparedness or any other issue isn’t so much about pontificating as it is about frustration. They, like all of us, want this horror to end, and they want to do something." [source]
Let us turn first to God in prayer, be peacemakers and salt and light in our online conversations, and pause to remember that at least 50 people, created in the image of God, lost their lives in a senseless act of violence and hatred.
Roman 12: 15 says that we are to "weep with those who weep". Instead of trying to explain or lash out on social media for justice, let us be united in our heartache and mourn together.
Let us demonstrate the sacrificial love of Jesus to everyone. We don’t have to agree on politics, lifestyles, or the meaning of marriage to love one another and to see the murderous sin of terrorism.
When tragedies like this happen, first-response and relief organizations need all the resources they can get.
Visit the One Blood website for information about where you can make your donation. Around the country, the American Red Cross is a great place to donate blood.
(Even if you don’t live in the Orlando area, this event can remind us that daily tragedies occur and blood donations are always needed in your community.)
"An event like this is a heart-wrenching reminder of the devastatingly painful and absolutely brutal result of sin... Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the dead is the proof that death and sin have been defeated." [source]
"We can remind ourselves and our neighbors that this is not the way it is supposed to be. We mourn, but we mourn in the hope of a kingdom where blood is not shed and where bullets never fly." [source]
Feel free to use our #PrayforOrlando button: