Yesterday another tragedy occurred at a school in Florida, which I’m certain you have all heard about by now. This morning, I was thinking on this as I was drawn to a Scripture in Ephesians and another in Matthew. Especially during tragedy, as Christ followers it is important to let the light and love of Jesus shine through us. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16) People feel and see the darkness encroaching, and they need a light to shine so they know there is another way.
So through this tragedy, and others to come, what are we to do? As humans, we will be tempted to give our opinions, what we think is right and where we see wrong. But the Bible tells us of another way: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph. 4:29) So before we spout off our thoughts and point any fingers of blame, we need to speak only that which will build others up according to their needs. The only way I know to do that is to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me.
Consider that this hate-filled murder of 17 students occurred on Valentine’s Day (a day we celebrate love) and the first day of lent (a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter). “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph 4:30-5:2) Let’s not give in to our fleshly desires to become angry, slander each other and fight over the causes. Instead let’s shine the light of Jesus in a dark world and walk in the way of love.