I thought I would share these words from Rev. Will Weedon.
St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “The present form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:31). Everywhere in the pages of sacred Scripture, our God reminds us of this: that “here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14), that there is no certainty of a tomorrow in this fallen age for you, for your parents, for your children or grandchildren, for your community. None. “In the very midst of life death has us surrounded,” we sing, and it is simply true. And so terror randomly drops from the sky, snuffing out lives and hopes and plans and holiday weekends, tearing apart families and friends and destroying homes and property, leaving a community shaken to the core and staggering under the load it now must bear. It is, sadly, the stuff of life in an age that is dying.
Does the weight of such piled-up suffering lead to lives of fear and uncertainty? It does not need to. Because we do indeed “seek the city that is to come.” Just this past Sunday in so many of our churches the words of the Pentecost preface rang out: “For all this the whole world rejoices with exceeding joy!” And we wonder: Can the folks of Moore, Okla., dare to pray such words? Can we, considering the vast sufferings that have gripped this whole community, the horrors still waiting to be uncovered?
Yes. Yes, we can. For this is the nature of Pentecost joy. It is not grounded in this age that is passing away, falling apart, bound by death and filled with suffering. It is grounded instead in the certainty of the age that is coming, an age in which the Spirit even now comes to us as first fruits, the promise and pledge and guarantee from the Father that a lasting city is on the horizon, a city in which there will be no goodbyes.
People loved by God, such joy can fill your hearts even as tears fill your eyes and you work diligently to ease the suffering, to console the bereaved, to bury the dead. You do all this not as a people who are surprised that such suffering exists and comes to human beings. You have been forewarned in Scripture to expect such and more. But you face it knowing that death, destruction, tears and heartache will not be the end of this world. They simply will not. They are indeed “the present form” of this world. But that form passes away.
And what will be, what the Spirit guarantees will be, is the glorious hope we hear of in Revelation: the nail-scarred hand reaching out to touch each weeping face, to wipe away the tears and to do away forever with the sin and the suffering and the death that plague us here and now, striking without warning and tearing apart those whom God created to live together.
The Spirit moves us to tend the suffering as best we may, weeping with them, and praying constantly: “Come, Lord Jesus! Come!”
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
If you are interested in helping the people of Moore, OK please follow the links below.
Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs – There is a team of several dogs and handlers in Moore, OK providing crisis counseling and the Gospel hope of Christ.