Responding to Las Vegas

by Scott Scruggs, Senior Pastor

This morning I awoke to the tragic news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas.  I was instantly heartbroken, confused, and angry, as I know many of you were. I can’t even fathom what the families of the victims are now facing.

It goes without saying that this is not how things should be. This is not what God wants for any individual or family or community or city or nation.  This kind of violence is a reflection of human sin at its worst, and it should disgust us as it disgusts our God.

As I’ve been watching the news coverage and following the outpouring of love and outrage on social media, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you as we think and pray and consider how we should respond as followers of Jesus and as a church.

Today, we join with the families who lost loved ones in crying out

First, we must be wary of reacting with religious clichés or trite answers. Today the most Christ-like response is what Christ did when he experienced the stench of death in losing his close friend Lazarus. He fell down on his knees and wept. No words, just grief. Today, we join with the families who lost loved ones in crying out, “God, why on earth did you let this happen?”  I wish I knew.

We must also remember that, on a day when it is tempting to be disparaging about the state of our world, there will be stories of heroic love and self-sacrifice—of men and women giving up their lives to try to save others. These acts of self-giving love are signs of hope for our world and seeds of the kingdom of God still at work in our midst. We acknowledge and give thanks for the women and men who risked or gave their life for others—even for strangers. You are a picture of Jesus and a reminder of how we should all live.

Most importantly, we must commit to change. In the days and weeks ahead, it will be easy to forget and move on. But God doesn’t call us to move on. He calls us to hate what is evil, to cling to what is good, to be devoted to one another in love, to be joyful in hope, to be patient in affliction, and to be faithful in prayer. He calls us to bless those who persecute us, to mourn with those who mourn, and to live in harmony with one another. He calls us to not repay anyone evil for evil, but to live at peace with everyone. He calls us to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.

I ask that all of us commit to pursuing this way of life, at your work, in your school, with your neighbors, and for the sake of your enemies. And to do so, not because evil might win, but because we still believe that it has already lost.

Come, Lord Jesus!

11 Comments
  • Lisa Stedman
    Posted at 14:19h, 04 October Reply

    Thank you for your poignant Words. Wonderful reminders of how to live

  • Jennine Shepherd
    Posted at 22:23h, 03 October Reply

    As followers of Jesus let us always be full of compassion and love. I will continue to pray for this tragic situation!! ❤

  • Donna Hibbard
    Posted at 09:08h, 03 October Reply

    Thank you… sometimes it seems it’s easy to become callous as another catastrophe hits. I needed to be reminded that Jesus wept when His friend died.. I needed to be reminded to not react (if even privately) to those who are so quick to blame one thing or another… one person or another.. I needed to be reminded that God is ALWAYS in control, even when we can’t understand, and to NOT use that as a reason to not find a way to get involved to share His love, His LIFE… Thank you, God, that evil has already lost!!!

  • Cathy Johnson
    Posted at 22:52h, 02 October Reply

    Thankyou Pastor Scott for your heartfelt words of encouragement to me…to all of us…as we try to absorb the horrible events that took place in Las Vegas Our hearts and prayers go out for all the families and victims of this senseless act.

  • Dale and Pam Ford
    Posted at 16:14h, 02 October Reply

    Our prayers will be with the families and loved ones of those effected by this heinous act.

  • Candace Horch
    Posted at 15:55h, 02 October Reply

    I appreciate the caring community Northshore CC is and for the opportunity to come together in unity for those affected by this tragedy… My heart is with the Wolfgang’s and all who lived and worked in that city and called it home… May God hold close the loved ones of all whose lives were lost and those who have been injured.

  • Lindie Freed
    Posted at 15:36h, 02 October Reply

    Thank you Pastor Scott! Praying & looking to Jesus, our Hope!

  • Chrys Buringrud
    Posted at 14:37h, 02 October Reply

    Thank you!

  • Claudia Williams
    Posted at 14:17h, 02 October Reply

    From Menlo …thank you Scott.

  • Kirsten Brady Shaw
    Posted at 12:50h, 02 October Reply

    Thank you Scott for these words of encouragement to us to pray faithfully. My heart goes out to those families who lost a loved one and those who yet don’t know the outcome of this violence. Waiting for answers is so difficult.

  • Corky Swanson
    Posted at 12:29h, 02 October Reply

    Thank you Pastor Scotty for leading NCC through all of the emotions of the day. May Holy Spirit continue to guide and direct us all as we each day have opportunities to go fishing for the lost. Thank you for leading us last night in our family meeting, especially with your implementation of “What, How, and Why. All of those points are vivid in our minds today as we mourn and pray for the lost. Fishing hard today.
    Grace & Peace
    Corky

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