Jibstay

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Grateful for Worship Today

This week spun me. The violence at Sandy Hook School. The multiple gunshot wounds to 6 & 7 year olds. The mowing down of teachers and administrators. Then came the cameras and interviews with those caught in the cauldron of grief. One more first person account of fear, terror, grief and bewilderment. What does it do? How does it help?
This morning before anyone showed up I heard the bells at the local Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mt Carmel tolling. That helped. I started counting the rings late. After the 8th ring, I knew it was not announcing the hour. When the bells stopped my count was just over 20. They must have been tolling the names of the slaughtered as the church has done for centuries. We do not spin and analyze, but present these ones to our God. We set this chaotic scene before eternity. We dare to list them among the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12.
At MCC today we planned a children's day, with little ones lighting the 3rd (Joy) candle. But before lighting the candle, I called the congregation to stand in memory of those killed. We then had a confirmand play her violin for the children's sermon and a young man read scriptures. A Covenant pastor led us in an intercessory prayer for the nation. A nurse sang "Mary Did You Know?" and I was able to preach about the fruit of repentance.

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