Even as we were reeling and recovering from the recent mass shooting at a school in Nashville, Tenn., we turned around and heard of yet another mass shooting, this time in Louisville – practically in our very own back yard. We lift up in prayer all those who died – Joshua Barrick, Deana Eckert, Tommy Elliott, Juliana Farmer, and James Tutt– and ask for healing and recovery for those who were injured, including Nickolas Wilt, a rookie police officer. We offer sincere prayers for their families.
Again we hear pledges for thoughts and prayers. But that is not all we need. Again we plead with elected officials to enact common sense gun laws that will protect innocent civilians from being heartlessly slain. Again we turn to God for comfort, even as we express our anger and dismay that this has happened once more. We know this is not God’s will for God’s children, to live in fear and anxiety, to wonder if doing something so innocuous as going to church or to a movie or to school or to work will end in devastation and bloodshed. We know God cherishes each life lost, each heart broken, each person now struggling to survive, each community seeking answers.
We have just recently – only a few days ago – celebrated the victory of Jesus Christ over death and the grave. And our rejoicing in a Risen Savior tempers some of the anguish we feel and gives us some solace. But we should also be spurred to action, not handwringing or unimpactful rhetoric, not to resignation or even worse, indifference. May our outrage and our shock goad us to stand up and proclaim the peace of God that silences the thunder of gunfire and squashes the empty platitudes that only contribute to the trauma. May we hear our calling as followers of Christ to nurture one another, to give justice and righteousness prominence in our lives, and to pray, once again – never again.
With eternal hope,
Dr. Charisse Gillett
President, Lexington Theological Seminary