As the horrifying news continues to unfold from Las Vegas, now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, I offer here part of a sermon delivered at Virginia Tech in the spring of 2007, shortly after the last worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The preacher is the Christian writer Phillip Yancey, who sought to answer the question, “Where is God when it hurts?” His answer can serve as a healing balm during this terrible moment.
And it ends on a note of redemption and hope, a call to us all:
Trust a God who can redeem what now seems unredeemable. Ten days before the shootings on this campus, Christians around the world remembered the darkest day of human history, the day in which evil human beings violently rose up against God’s Son and murdered the only truly innocent human being who has ever lived. We remember that day not as Dark Friday, Tragic Friday, or Disaster Friday—but rather as Good Friday. That awful day led to the salvation of the world and to Easter, an echo in advance of God’s bright promise to make all things new.
…Finally, cling to the hope that nothing that happens, not even this terrible tragedy, is irredeemable. We serve a God who has vowed to make all things new.
As we ache, grieve, pray and hope, this is a message we need to hear.