“Let the unspeakable hurt cause us to do what is necessary that this will not happen again…”

We woke this morning to the horrific news of another mass shooting. We have begun to lose track of the public places that have become gravesites:  a school in Sandy Hook, a social service agency in San Bernardino, a restaurant in Texas, a university in Virginia, a night club in Orlando, a theater in Colorado…and the list goes on until we are left with this past Sunday night. Las Vegas, the nation’s grown-up playground, has become the site of the deadliest mass shooting in America history.

Yesterday evening when Peggy Finch led the invocation for the Finch Preaching Mission, she asked us to pray for our broken and troubled nation.  Her words were elegant, yet brief. What is there left to say? We have been through this too many times.  She referred us to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Chapter 8. “We know that our whole creation has been groaning as in labor pains… and we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly for the redemption of our bodies.” St. Paul continues, even the spirit of God groans inwardly and with us, “with sighs too deep for words.

Our nation woke up on Monday morning and we groaned. But, notice that in what the apostle writes our groaning is with purpose.  We wait for the redemption of our bodies. We groan for a new order. Indeed, our guttural moans are signs of labor pains.  Our sighs are not resignation. We have not given ourselves up to violence. We groan to give birth to something better. We have not settled.  And “in this hope we are saved.”

As you go through out your day remember this; it does not have to have to be this way and it has not always been this way in the United States.  Our society does not have to be soaked in violence. We can reclaim our ideals, and live in safety and peace with one another once again. A fellow can take his date to hear Jason Aldean croon a country love song without fear of gun violence.

So, go ahead and groan. Our hurt is a sign that we have not become numb to mass shootings, to innocents laid out dead on the fairgrounds. Let the unspeakable hurt cause us to do what is necessary that this will not happen again, and again.

Our groaning can lead our nation to redemption. The Bible tells us so, and the Spirit of God is with us to help.