KOH2RVA: Day 98

Sandy HookFirst Baptist Church has spent nearly 100 days working to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia, in a year-long, every-member mission trip. I don’t know that every member has been involved, but it certainly does seem that way. Many of them stop me in the hallway to tell me about the work they’ve been doing. They’re excited about it. You can hear it in their voices. You can see it on their faces. And that’s good, because on a day like today I’m thinking about how it takes all of us working together with Jesus to make this world more like heaven while it only takes one of us to make it more like hell.

It happened yesterday.

While we may never know what drove him to do it we know that 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire on Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 26 people—many of them children—before turning the gun on himself. It’s hard to imagine a more horrifying, or hellish, scenario.

How long will it take to undo the damage Adam Lanza did? Forever. While it will take days to restore some semblance of order at Sandy Hook Elementary, weeks to memorialize the 26 people who died in yesterday’s shootings, months to get things back to “normal” in Newtown, some things will never be the same. Parents who lost children will never get them back again, not in this life. And that’s when I become grateful to tears that it’s not all up to us.

While we can “labor alongside Jesus in the joyful work of bringing heaven to earth,” Jesus can do some things we can’t. He can bring earth to heaven. He can take the tragedy of yesterday’s shootings and lay it before his heavenly Father. And the Father—who loves little children—can take them in his arms, breathe new life into their broken bodies, and welcome them into his eternal presence.

“God will wipe every tear from their eyes,” writes the author of Revelation. “Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more” (Rev. 21:4).

Until then we keep working with Jesus to bring heaven to earth. We renew our determination. We strengthen our resolve. We know as we didn’t know two days ago…

…it’s going to take all of us.

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Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

2 thoughts on “KOH2RVA: Day 98

  1. So very, very true — this is one of those jobs that no matter how much we do, it will not be finished in our day — so onward we go as best we can, with God’s help. He promised not to leave us be, even though he gave us the opportunity to make choices — some of which are clearly NOT what might have been envisioned for us, but He loved us enough to allow us to keep on trying. Thanks, Jim, for your daily reminders and encouraging words and spirit!

  2. Jim, you are right on Target. Just as Hilary Clinton said years ago, “It takes a village to raise a child”, it takes everyone of us doing the Lord’s work. He works through his followers to make this world a better and safer place for everyone. We learned yesterday, that there are alot of good, capable heroes in Conn. who set about, right away, doing God’s work. Everywhere I go, I meet God’s Angels. It warms my heart that there are so very many good people in this world, setting about, doing good, every day. God Bless everyone of them this Christmas. We need more Angels here on earth!

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