But April has had its troubles in recent years. It started at Columbine High School. April 20, 1999. Two teenagers went on a deadly shooting rampage, killing 15 and injuring 24. Since then, April has never been the same. It resembles a carnival shooting gallery, except the bullets and bombs are real. The casualties keep coming:
- the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013
- the killing of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in 2007
- the burning of the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco Texas in 1993 (75 people lost their lives)
- the Oklahoma City bombing took place on April 19, 1995 (168 people died)
- this year, there have been several shooting incidents occurring on an almost daily basis
- Further back in history, Lincoln was assassinated and the Titanic sank, all within a few days on either side of April 15th.
We know the ultimate cause: sin. We know of attending causes like despair and hatred and the availability of powerful firearms. Answers are hard to come by. Nothing seems to be able to stem the flow of so much blood needlessly shed.
I do know the answer is NOT in this: keep Jesus and his Word out of people’s lives and out of the public square.
Know what else occurs in April? Good Shepherd Sunday is always the 4th Sunday of the Easter season. (April 25th this year) How fitting. How comforting. How needed. This I know: answers and comfort and strength are found in Jesus, who says, 27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
God help us,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand