Consolation For A Broken World
Like many of you, I have spent these past few days reading about, reflecting on, and praying around the shooting this past Sunday morning in Orlando. The senselessness and savagery of this kind of thing is hard to imagine, even as it is sadly all too commonplace.
The shooting in Orland was another stark reminder that God’s world is deeply broken. We live in a world marked with hatred, violence, fear, and confusion. In the midst of all of this it is difficult to know how to think or even respond. Yet, it is in the midst of this very broken world that God has come, in the form of Jesus, and shown us a way forward. It is in the midst of the brokenness that God is working, through Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, to make all things new. And we are called to participate, to play a part in offering the consolation of God for a broken world.
In Romans 12:15 the apostle Paul says “weep with those who weep.” This is the proper first response for Christians in times such as these. Just as Jesus has known and felt our suffering and our grief, we are called to know and feel as best we can the weeping of those who suffer around us. We might prefer to quickly move on, or to offer quick and easy platitudes, advice and correction, but to be a consoling presence involves stopping, listening, and knowing the mourning of those mourn. We can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the sure hope of God’s renewal of all things; and in doing this, we bear witness to Jesus who wept over Lazarus and was moved with compassion time and again. In doing this we point to the one who is the source of true consolation for a broken, violent, and hurting world.