There was article in World” magazine this month about the shootings in Newtown, Conneticut. The articles is called , A town clothed in misery. In a town of 27,000, everything is close about this inexplicable tragedy. Everyone knows someone. Does that sound familiar to you? Our little town of Murphy only has about 1,800 residents. But everyone knows everyone. You don’t have to drive far to find a church either. Something we take for granted. Newtown was described as a spiritually desolate city.
New England has the reputation of being spiritually dead, and Newtown too. The town is largely culturally Catholic or of no faith. The family of one of the children killed, Noah Pozner, 6, attended a conservative Jewish synagogue in Newtown, but the Jewish population in the county is about 4 percent. An Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Newtown closed its doors recently. “A difficult town to plant churches,” as one Connecticut pastor described it. Walnut Hill is an oddity of evangelical growth. Christians I interviewed were shocked just to see the “God Bless Newtown” and “Pray for Newtown” signs that now dot many stores and street corners. In the midst of the deaths of these young ones, local pastors are seeing the seeds of new spiritual life.
We have seen a lot change in our town over the years. We too have experienced church splits and some churches close their doors. Instead of blaming each other, see that Satan is trying take every thing good from where we live. To cause a famine in our churches and our faith. To tear apart homes and destroy life. Tragedy forces us to dig deep in what we believe and we have to have faith to get through the hard times. It is our job as believers to pray for our children, our schools, our teachers, our towns, our churches. Don’t become spiritually desolate. This is from a local pastor from Newtown, “I believe that God uses all things for good,” said Mancini. He continued: “I don’t know how He’s going to use this for good. But what I see in the students who I work with who have grown up in this area, who for them, the reality of the brokenness of this world has always been a concept to be agreed with, and like, a philosophical point to be made in communicating the gospel. I think for the first time ever they are actually feeling and experiencing the injustice and brokenness of the world in a way that people who live in the richest county in the richest nation that’s ever been have probably never experienced before. I don’t want to for one second say this is good. This is awful.”
All this happened to us,
though we had not forgotten you
or been false to your covenant.
Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals
and covered us over with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?
We are brought down to the dust;our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up and help us;redeem us because of your unfailing love.