By George Bowers
It's been two months now since Adam Lanza brutally murdered his mother, school children, teachers and himself in Newtown, Conn. While our politicians debate new gun control legislation, I'd like to reflect on this event and think about some possible responses that might be helpful and healing for all.
The first caution comes directly from the bible where Paul advises us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). It's easy to be overwhelmed by such grossly evil events in our culture and to become numb and depressed about all of life. It's important to resist such tendencies and not be overcome with grief or cynicism. While we should grieve such events and reach out to comfort the hurting, as Christians we know that Jesus has the ultimate victory over life as well as death and this gives us perspective that supersedes such evil behavior.
Likewise, let us not be overcome by fear. Fear is a tool the devil uses to paralyze us into inaction. He likes nothing more than to intimidate us into helpless submission. Let us continue (or start) to live boldly in Jesus Christ, showing as much love and grace to those around us as we possibly can, especially to the outcasts who might be potential perpetrators of such actions. Our love and the love of Christ can defuse the anger, hatred and bitterness that build up within others. Let us do what we can to show mass kindness and grace to preempt such violence.
Thirdly, let us also be thankful that individuals like Adam Lanza are not in power in this country, even as they are in some other cruel governments around the world. America is not perfect, but thankfully she is far from Syria, Somalia, and Iran. May it always be so!
Finally, let us grieve for those killed by this tragedy, but let us also grieve for those 4,000 children killed that same day and every day all across America in their mothers' wombs. If Lanza had done what he did in a "clinic" to those same children eight to 12 years earlier as an abortionist, he would not be considered a criminal. The children who are slaughtered by abortion receive no public outcry, no furry teddy bears and no memorial services. Let us see clearly that these are just as brutal and cruel murders as those in Newtown and let's redouble our prayers and our efforts to outlaw such bloodshed against our own children.
George Bowers is the Pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of "Blessings," "Valley Verses," and "Valley Verses, Volume 2." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.