We are all coming to grips with the awful, senseless acts of violence that were leveled upon our friends and neighbors this past weekend here in Orlando. The tragedy is beyond comprehension, and the sorrow that each family affected now faces is a heavy burden for them to bear. Our hearts and our prayers go out to them, and our hope is that through these and the prayers of so many others around the world, God will bring them comfort.
We believe that when one person suffers, we all share in that suffering. The death of one person is a loss to one and all, and the violence that comes out of hatred, while unspeakably terrible, is also devoid of all meaning. No matter what was in the mind of the killer – one thing we know – it was totally wrong.
We grieve with the parents, neighbors, and friends of all of these innocent people who were struck down, and those who are suffering terrible injuries; they were and are people of peace. We uphold with gratitude all who came to their aid, the police, the EMTs, the surgeons, nurses, and hospital staff members. We pray that they all know that we stand with them, and admire all that they did, and continue to do, to help.
As the days and weeks unfold, we will learn more. But what we know already is this: Life is greater than death; love is stronger than hate; hope is more beautiful than despair; the building up of a person or community is far greater than tearing it down. So today and each day, offer your life, your love, your encouragement, and your good work, trusting that God will see us through.
In Christ’s love,
John Dalles, Pastor