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December 14, 2012

Connecticut School Shooting: Christ’s Love as Comfort in the Midst of Suffering

The hope and power of Jesus’s resurrection is divine reassurance for those lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

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When I first heard the news about the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 27 individuals, including 20 students and a gunman, dead (at the time of most recent reports), I was on my way to a Christianity Today staff Christmas luncheon. I didn't feel quite right celebrating at such a time as this until I heard Christianity Today magazine's former editor in chief, David Neff, give a brief message to us toward the end of the program.

"Love is Christ's weapon against sin, death, and darkness," he said. Citing C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, he went on to say: "God's love is a sort of trickery against the forces of darkness, and is strong enough to reverse even death."

The simple, yet profound truth of Christ's innocent death and the assurance of his proceeding resurrection gave me a renewed sense of hope for the victims and their families in Connecticut—even for the shooter and his mother, both of whom were lost this morning. Jesus died for us even when we were his enemies—Romans 5:8 says so:

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

So as I read reports of death in the New York Times, hear stories of parents who have lost their little ones, and think of the desperation that must have encompassed the shooter on his mission into that school this morning, I am reminded: evil is very much in charge of the world (2 Corinthians 4:4). The tragedy this morning was assurance and encouragement that I, as a firm believer in the truth of Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection, will continue to pray at all times, in all occasions (Ephesians 6:18).

Today, this means I will be praying in the name of the children we lost this morning; in the name of the shooter who was captive to the forces of darkness in his actions, and for the peace and comfort of the mourning mothers, fathers, and families who lost loved ones this morning. Won't you join me?

For helpful resources from women who have endured loss and suffering, read the following TCW articles: “When We Don’t Understand;” “A Safe Place When You’ve Lost a Child;” and “A Time to Mourn.” Also see these TCW downloadable resources: “Why Do Bad Things Happen,” and “Transformation in the Midst of Suffering.”

Allison J. Althoff is associate online editor of Today’s Christian Woman.

Related Tags: abuse, anger, children, connecticut school shooting, death, difficulties, healing, loss, newtown, prayer, sandy hook elementary school, shooting, suffering, worry

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