A few weeks ago, before hurricane Irma, I wrote a blog entitled Thoughts and Prayers. In it I challenged the rather cliché response people have to disasters and tragedies and encouraged people to take action. I didn’t get a chance to post it the week before the hurricane because I was too busy getting ready for it. Then I didn’t want to post it after hurricane Irma, because I did not want it to seem like an indictment of people’s response to that disaster. In fact, I was amazed and blessed by how everyone pulled together to help after Irma! Then I scheduled it to post this week, and we had that tragic shooting in Las Vegas.
Now, lots of people are saying that thoughts and prayers are not enough and that we need action. Unfortunately, they don’t mean it the way that I did. I do not want people to connect my words with theirs, so I still feel like it is not an appropriate time to post that blog. Perhaps one day I still will, but not this week.
You see, when I wrote that blog I was pointing us to the actions that Jesus calls us to; feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, taking care of one another in times of need. But now, in the wake of Las Vegas, people are calling us to take action to prevent something like that from ever happening again. And while I am generally a hopeful person, and not pessimistic, I have to tell you that there is nothing we can do to prevent something like that from ever happening again.
There is evil in the world. And there will be evil in the world until Jesus comes again. In fact, the evil that is in the world is so powerful that the only way Jesus Himself could overcome it was by sacrificing his own life in a cruel and bloody execution. Make no mistake, because of that we do have hope. Evil will be brought to an end, but not by us, and not by political action, passing new laws, or creating new social programs.
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)
This is the hope we have. This is the only way that evil will finally be undone so that nothing like what happened in Las Vegas will ever happen again.
I’m not telling you to sit on your hands and do nothing. Do what you feel is right and best to make the world a better place. We are free as Christians to pursue political action and social justice. Just be sure you are placing your hope in Jesus Christ and in His love and mercy, and not in the plans of men.