Our faith is not shaken by turmoil in world

Remember 9-11?

Sept. 11, 2001, when our nation was attacked by a different kind of enemy, on domestic soil, the date that changed our outlook and landscape forever, and gave birth to the term “Homeland Security.”

In the days and weeks that followed, something remarkable happened. Midweek or evening church services were held: prayer and healing services where wounded hearts and wounded spirits came together to beseech God of His wisdom, His comfort and His mercy, and these were well attended.

Not only Christians, but Americans were unified, as we all mourned collectively. Secular organizations, whose mission is to remove every vestige of Christianity from the public sector became strangely silent, as it once again was okay to say, “One nation, under God!”

For a moment in our nation’s brief history, we were reminded of what our founding fathers knew: that we are a nation and a people dependent on God, in need of His blessing, protection, forgiveness, grace and promise of eternal peace, as all our prosperity could not save us from sin and death. Only Jesus could. Perhaps the only silver lining to such tragedy was drawing close to God again, and for a time, to regard the needs and emotions of others who have lost so much as greater than our own.

This past week’s church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas may affect a small number of Christian Americans, a small town, and a small church building, but to those mourning the loss of a handful of loved ones while worshipping their Lord and Savior, this is no less tragic than the thousands lost in the combined events of Sept. 11, 2001. Here in 2017, for each new report of a tragic shooting, these recent, frequent and smaller acts of violence our nation experiences, each becomes a mini 9-11, and a new opportunity to rally before God.

Two thousand years ago, God allowed a brutal, violent act to come upon His Son, Jesus; in fact, it was part of His holy will and plan for our salvation, our saving grace from sin. God allowed His Son to be brutally beaten and nailed to a cross to die a sinner’s death.

What no one realized in the moment, was that Jesus was paying our price, atoning for our sins, assuring the faithful that we will have forgiveness and life through Him. However, in the moment, it appeared that evil had triumphed over good. But the first Easter Sunday changed all that, as on the third day, Jesus rose to bring us to life, as good triumphed over evil.

This week things look very similar, but evil has not triumphed, or taken away the momentum of the Church of Christ, or shaken the faith of Christians. It has only fortified it, as again, tragedy reminds us of our need of a Savior, one we truly have, that we may turn to Jesus in faith for His work on the cross, and His victory over sin, death and the devil, that assures us of a peace beyond this earth, one that is ours in Jesus alone. God is still glorified, even in the midst of another tragedy.

Our churches are St. Paul Lutheran church in Fredonia (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran Church in Gowanda (532-4342) and Trinity Lutheran Church in Silver Creek (934-2002).