It has been a few weeks since it happened, and unfortunately, many of us have managed to push it to the back of our minds.
I’m talking about the shooting at the movie theater in Colorado. We have almost become numb to such events. Think with me of the horrible events within most of our memories: The federal building in Oklahoma; Columbine; Virginia Tech; the Amish school in Pennsylvania; and of course, New York City, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. I had to give great thought to remember each of them, and I am certain that I have left some out. You probably had forgotten a couple of these.
And yet the horror of each event boggles the mind. How is it possible for such things to take place? How can such evil exist in our world? Of course, I could remind you of the Nazi horrors in Germany, the barbarity of the communists in Russia, and civil wars in more places than I care to name. Again, we ask: How is such absolute evil possible?
There are two lessons from these events that I would like for you to remember. The first is not popular, but it has to do with the sinful nature of humanity. The Bible says, “All have sinned.” Most of us don’t like to think of that, but it is true. All have sinned. That includes you and me. Now, most of us like to think that our sins do not reach the levels of these others, but we still must remember this. God is perfect. The Bible says, “In him there is no darkness.” He is absolutely perfect and holy. So, while there may be grades of sin in our minds, the fact is that all of us are sinners in God’s sight. We need his grace.
The second lesson to learn is this: Life is precious to God. For some reason, that lesson has not been learned by all. But God created life; it matters to him. We have allowed a culture of death to creep in on our society and world. Now is not the time to discuss how that has happened, but we clearly see it in such horrific events.
Would you pray with me that God will help us to see the precious nature of human life? Would you try to remember that truth yourself — even when the guy cuts you off in traffic, or when the umpire blows the call? The fact that life is precious means that you are precious. Jesus loves you. That is the central message of the Bible. It remains the greatest theological truth we can discover. Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me. And because of that fact, we can have life forever if we will trust in him.
I pray that you will do just that.