I'll be the first to admit, I'm angry. I cannot believe I have to hear about another school shooting.  I cannot believe I have to hear about children whose lives were snuffed out much too soon.  My heart is broken, yet I'm angry.  I'm not angry because the school where this tragedy happened was a Christian school.  I'm not angry because the shooter was transgendered.  I'm not angry that Mainstream Media will spin this in whatever way will fuel their audiences hurt or anger.  I'm angry because of sin.  I'm angry that this world is cursed, and has been sin Eve and Adam ate from the the tree that God forbade them from.  I'm angry that sin has permeated every aspect of life on this planet and as shocked as I am at news of another school shooting I am not all that surprised because of the falleness of this world.

    So what should our response be as Christian's in times like these?  Romans 12:15 says to mourn with those who mourn.  So I hurt with those parents and facility members who lost someone that day.  My prayers go to all who were effected and victimized that day.  There are no words that will comfort a parent whose just lost a child to violence.  There is nothing as a pastor I can do to ease the pain other than to be present and point them towards the one who can relate to them. God the Father knows what it is like to lose a Son to violence.  He knows what it's like to grieve as a parent.  He can set the example.

     I must also say though that as hard as it is to grieve with someone who is grieving there is something much harder to do in this situation which often gets overlooked.  That is to forgive the person who caused all of this.  In times like these all the attention is pointed toward the victims and rightfully so, however lets not forget the perpetrator  who set all this in motion.  Now, the usual emotions creep up when thinking of the person responsible for all this, why should they get any pity, sadness or ever more, forgiveness?  THEY DON'T DESERVE THAT.  That's the typical response, and I can't say I blame people for feeling this way especially the families who were effected by this.  But as a pastor I must point us all to God's Word, and the teachings of Scripture.  But before I do let me go back in time a bit.  

    On October 2, 2006 Charles Roberts backed his pickup truck up to the West Nickle Mines School at around 11:07am with a 9mm pistol in his hand and just shortly after recess began shooting hostages inside the school. 5 Children all together perished that day amongst many who were injured.  This was another dark day in the history of America?  What would cause someone to want to hurt those who are the most vulnerable?  Those questions are hardly ever answered because in this incident like the one in Tennessee the shooter died at the scene.  But something remarkable happened.  The family of these Amish students starting the day of the shooting into the next day began to release statements saying to not feel anger towards this person and that they should forgive this person. The Amish community came around and supported the family of the suspect and overwhelmed them with love and forgiveness.  How can this be?  How could they do so in their deepest of pain?   As a pastor, I can honestly say I don't know, but what I do know is they followed the teachings of Scripture.  

Matthew 5:43-45:

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.". 

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 6:27-28: But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

These verses are well known amongst Christians, and often quoted but I've wondered how hard they would actually be to act out and live.  Well, that day, the Amish community showed us how to do that.  They showed us how to love the unlovable, love our enemies and forgive those who commit great evils.  

So I stand here, broken hearted, angry and confused, and I ask that while we think of the victims of this horrific tragedy, that we lay down our anger and offer up forgiveness and support to the family of the person responsible.