History does repeat itself. Sometimes in its repetition we can see the heartbreak of the transgressions of the past repeated in the present with an even deeper and more insidious result. Look around you and what do you see? Shootings, stabbings, bombings, race riots, gangs, rape, murder, genocide; Black lives matter, police lives matter, all lives matter but what does it matter? Politicians lie, people lie and so many lie unnecessarily in early graves. Save the whales, save the schools, save the planet, save the children, but save them for what future? Muslims against Christians, Christians against other Christians, and seemingly the world against Judaism while the Atheists say, "I told you so." Women's rights, animal rights, civil rights, gun rights, LGBT rights - so many rights, but everything still seems so wrong. The world has become dangerous and angry. Their clamoring for peace is drowned out by the ever increasing clamor of violence. Where. Is. God? Does He hear? Does He know? Does He care? Has God completely lost control of our world?
The Ebola virus. War between the Palestinians and Israel. Iraq being plundered by ISIS. Christians in the middle east being persecuted and killed. Worldwide anti-Semitism on the rise. The tenuous problems with Russia and Ukraine. In our country – lawlessness on the southern border, Government scandals over the IRS, the Health Care system and Benghazi, a skyrocketing National Debt… Shall I go on? It certainly seems that chaos and unrest are spreading faster than ever before. What should we be doing? Should we be afraid?
DUE TO THE GRAPHIC NATURE OF THE EVENTS WE WILL DISCUSS, THIS PROGRAM MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN. Tragedy is a part of life. We all know those who have suffered through it. Many times it gets the best of people, and sometimes people cope, but occasionally you find those who truly overcome it to a point that the tragedy is merely a memory and can serve as a tool of growth and example. Today we will tell such a story. It is true story of bad things happening and how faith in God, perseverance and the right help transformed those bad things into overcoming lives.
Here we are just a few days before Christmas 2012. This is a time when there is usually a magic in the air, an excitement for friends, family and good cheer. Usually, that is the case – but not this year. No, not this year. Something happened, and as a result the giddy joy is gone. We have suffered a great loss. A few short days ago, an unimaginable crime was committed and 27 people, 20 of them 6-and 7-year old children, had their lives taken from them, brutally and without mercy. Today we honor their memory and recognize the pain of their grief-stricken families and friends. Today we also search to find how the hope of the true meaning of Christmas can give us – all of us - strength to cope, strength to stand, and strength to begin to move forward.
It happened just a few short weeks ago, but by now we are almost de-sensitized to the horror. In many ways we can feel like it’s just another story of a senseless killer randomly taking lives. But it’s not – what it is, is a chronicle of a world filled with inequity and evil, in which those who are innocent suffer and die and there are no real answers as to how to stop it. Is there someone to blame? Is it parenting? Is it education? Is it religion? Is it atheism? Is it freedom? Is it guns? Is it easy access to violence? Is it God? How do we begin to put these tragedies into some perspective? Stay with us – there IS an answer!
Losing a loved one, especially a child, can bring unbearable pain and anxiety. It can cause us to question even those things we hold dearest – even the existence and plan of God. We will look into this grief and into God’s plan to try and understand where God is when tragedy strikes.
Ten years ago today, the world changed. If you look back to that fateful day ten years ago, you undoubtedly remember where you were and what you were doing that morning when you heard the news of the terrorist attacks on America. You undoubtedly remember the string of emotions you went through – from horror and disbelief, to sadness and grief, to fear and then anger and perhaps even rage, and then back to the numbness of your original disbelief. This morning, ten years later, we want to respectfully reflect on the events of that day and find in it lessons of strength and courage. Come and walk with us...
This was a tragedy. The recent earthquake, just off the coast of northern Japan, was the fifth largest ever recorded in human history. While the quake itself was not terribly damaging, the tsunamis it spawned were another story. From a personal standpoint, I have NEVER seen anything so destructive and powerful as those waves which literally engulfed everything in their path. So, what does all of this mean from a Christian standpoint? Did God make the earth quake – did God send the waves? Could God have stopped this? Stay with us as we consider these difficult and piercing questions.