A gunman fired on a crowd gathered for a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip this past Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and wounding nearly 400. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern history of the United States.
When faced with this type of violent crisis we should first turn to our Comforter in prayer. We should seek healing for the wounded, the grieving families, and for our broken nation. Our next step should be to respond as Christians.
Matthew Mihelic offers five ways to help guide our thinking about how to respond to such violence:
1. Love. Always choose to love. Always choose to forgive. Weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15), and show empathy to those who are grieving—even if they express their grief in a way that makes you uncomfortable.
2. Seek unity. As members of the body of Christ, Christians strive for the unity that Christ has accomplished with his redemption. Let the church be the model of forgiveness and unity that society is lacking. Let your Christian unity in this hour be the story you pass down to your grandkids when they ask you about these troubled times.
3. Do justice. Do what you’re called to do as a citizen and pray (1 Timothy 2) for government to do what they are called to do as civil authority. Recognize that God has given the sword to the civil authorities to ensure justice. They need prayer. Through prayer and proper honor, seek justice by promoting good government. Because government is intended to be God’s gift of common grace to man, Christians are seeking the good of their neighbors when they seek to promote good government.
4. Soberly recognize and mourn sin’s effects. These events remind us that we live in a cursed world. As we feel the effects of a fallen creation, we must view these events with sober-mindedness. Mass murder are the results of humans being humans in a sinful age. Let us mourn the effects of a fallen world with those who mourn. Sin is tragic, and it is not God’s will.
5. Have hope. You have a home with God where no violence intrudes because Christ has paid for your every sin. Let the victory of the cross in your life compel you forward to courageously seek gospel transformation in your city today. In times such as these, God often uses the hope of Christians to powerfully shine into a culture in despair.