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Responding as a Christian to the Tragedy in Norway

July 29, 2011

The first response of Christians to a tragedy such as this is silence.

Sometimes there are no words.

Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”

We are overwhelmed, groaning together, weeping with those who weep.

The next response of the Christian after overwhelmed silence is to realize that we are part of the problem. If evil is a sickness, then we’ve been infected.

There is a huge danger when we don’t see this to be true of ourselves – when evil is “out there” and not “in here” in our hearts, as far as we’re concerned. We are in danger of having an attitude expressed in the words: “I’d like to round up all the intolerant so and so’s in the world, and line them up and shoot them! ” Ironically, with such hatred, we become perpetrators of the very violence (in thought if not in deed) that we are condemning.

As Christians, we can and must show a different way, a better way – the way of overcoming evil with good, with love.

We must show all people love and respect, not because we are think they are projections of us, but because they are loved by God.

(from July 24 Sermon)

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