Tragedy at the Movies and God’s Love
By Larry Davies
Alex Sullivan, Micayla Medek, Jessica Ghawi, Navy Petty Officer John Larimer, Rebecca Wingo, Matthew McQuinn, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, Alexander Boik, Alexander Teves, Jonathan Blunk, Gordon Cowdon.
We remember and honor their names today as well as pray for their families and for those wounded during a midnight preview at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. While there are no easy answers or explanations as to why the tragedy in Aurora occurred, we do know that God provides loving comfort in the midst of our grief and fear.
We offer love in the midst of fear and grief. Love.
Recently, Rev. Dr. Janine Howard, shared an affirmation of faith I’ve not seen before. Taken from John Killenger’s book: “Enter Every Trembling Heart: Prayers for Christian Worship.”
We believe in the love of God that forms the basis for all human love:
the love parents have for their children,
the love children have for their parents,
the love of friends who really care,
and every little act of kindness bestowed as a gift in the human community.
We believe that God loved the world through Christ, who
showed what it meant to love another by laying down
his life for all those who would come after him, even in our own time.
We believe that love will eventually triumph in the world,
despite all envy, hate and greed, despite wars and
rumors of war, and despite the fact that it seems so rare.
For love is of God and God is love, and God will not rest
until all are reconciled in love.
As a church leader, I talk about church growth, pastoral leadership, ministry opportunities and the need for greater resources. Important? Yes, but I confess to not talking enough about love; God’s transforming and passionate love for you, for me, for our churches, for our communities and for our world.
- We need to talk about church growth but we must first learn to love others as God loves us.
- We need to talk about leadership but Jesus Christ demonstrated true leadership when He washed the disciple’s feet.
- We need to talk about ministry but God provides opportunities to love others several times a day.
- We need greater resources but more importantly we need more faith to trust God will use what we already have.
Jesus said: “This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends… This is My command: love each other.” (John 15:12-13, 17)
Jesus didn’t just talk about love. He taught love. He lived love.
“This is My command: Love each other.”
- So simple, yet so hard.
- So basic, yet so profound.
- So easy to say, yet so difficult to do.
But, there is no greater witness. In the midst of the tragedy and grief experienced in Aurora, we offer love.
“For love is of God and God is love, and God will not rest until all are reconciled in love.”
Larry Davies is the Author of Love Notes For Lovers, and a District Superintendent with the Methodist Church in Virginia.
- Love of God (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)
- You Are Worth More Than Many Sparrows (bishopsblog.dioceseofcheyenne.org)