You no doubt have been shocked and saddened by what has transpired in Las Vegas. Such a senseless act of violence is very difficult to understand, and we are left with many questions of the who, what, and why variety.
I’ve been asked this week: “How do we respond?”
Well, first we pray. To say that there is power in prayer is often a misunderstood truth. We do pray for the victims, the families, the city of Las Vegas, and our country. But perhaps prayer changes us more than it changes God. When we pray, we open ourselves to God’s presence and movement, and we risk leaving the encounter changed.
How do we respond to tragedy? We worship. Through the good and the bad of life, we give glory to God. And like prayer, when we worship, we risk leaving the Divine encounter a changed person. In last Sunday’s sermon we learned how important centering worship was for Jesus. How much more do we need the same foundation for our lives?
We respond to tragedy with prayer and worship. We are changed by our encounters with God, and now we are prepared to ask the only pertinent question in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. This question is simple: “How am I an agent of peace in my home, my community, and the world?”
As Christians pray, worship, and reflect, they become people of peace. Hopefully, a little of what we become will rub off on the culture around us and change it for the better. Who would doubt God’s ability to beat swords into ploughshares?
Pray. Worship. Let God transform you into a person of contagious peace. That’s how we respond to tragedies like Las Vegas.