Hello friends and family, Mike here. Allow us a moment for some personal reflection in this editorial post. In such trying times it is incredibly important that we all stop, pause and think about the events in our world. It is important to honor those who have been so tragically impacted by a senseless act of violence. Yesterday, during a wonderfully impacting and poignant service at my church, the events in San Bernardino took on yet another face. A face of reality. I knew it was close to home, I knew that close friends in law enforcement were involved but for whatever reason the reality of how close this was was sort of missed. The other faces had been clear; A face of fear. A face of question. A face of confusion. A face of yearning. And in the end, a call to let good overcome evil.
You see, I live in San Bernardino County. Not terribly far from where from where I live, yet another mass shooting took place during a Christmas party at a public office. A husband and wife, who seemingly were prepared for an even larger attack snapped and took the lives of 14 innocent men and women. Nearly 20 others were significantly wounded. As most around the country, and likely around the world received news of this event feelings sadness, grief, confusion, anger, shock and any other number of emotions rose to the surface. We all ask ourselves why. How could this happen…again? How was this missed? How could someone do such a thing? I’m not sure we will ever fully know the answer to these things and this editorial is not going to debate them. This is not an attempt to try and answer. This is about reflection of the times we live in and the saving grace of a loving Father available to all. While I will humbly proclaim the name of Jesus, my strength, this is not an attempt to talk about the politics, religion, gun control or any other potentially contentious topic. It is however a reminder that this loving relationship with a loving God is freely available to everyone.
For this writer, the event took a more personal turn as I watched my Pastor cry for those he knew who were impacted. To then learn that someone in the church knew many of the victims. To see this reach into my little world shook me up bit and I was honored to lift the names of those killed in prayer. Regardless of your beliefs, your values, your moral compass you would have to have a heart of stone to view this as trivial or otherwise less unimportant in this crazy world we call home. Emerging for me and others I know is a deepening sense that this world is lost, and there is a need for a Savior more than ever. It energizes me to keep this site up and running as a way to illuminate the name of Jesus and God to those who may not have heard it or have questions. There is incredible healing available through music and that is the core focus of this site. It strengthens my faith in an almighty God who offered the ability to saved from His wrath of judgement by offering His Son on a cross. It reminds me that we never know when we will take our final breath, and that we need to live a life with meaning to the best of our ability. As a favorite Switchfoot song so clearly states, “I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife”.
As we look for answers, my eyes are drawn towards the heavens. What I see is scripture that helps provide some clarity. It makes me crazy sometimes to hear all of the rhetoric that comes from such an incident. I do not believe…like I once might have…that the answer here is to respond in ways that are less than loving. To protect is one thing and I fully endorse that as a given responsibility, but to attack is quite another. Arguably there is a gray area where those two may meet, but love should always win. There have been some high-visibility “Christian” leaders in the news the past couple of days who seem to think Christ’s love is best represented through hateful and vengeful words. We could not disagree more. Please look beyond that noise for the true meaning of what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. Romans 12:21 provides the answer I need;
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rms 12:21, NASB)
Matthew 11:28 provides insight as to where rest can come from. As we deal with the emotions of this and other events, rest can be found in the arms of a loving Savior.
“Come to Me, all [a]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28, NASB)
Philippians 4:6-7 strengthens that position. This often referenced passage is important. It gives us a glimpse of what we find in a true relationship. Are you seeking peace? Do you need direction?
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ” (Phi 4:6-7, NASB)
Despite where this world we live in is headed, and what it professes we are supposed to be, as a Christian, I know how it ends. I know there will be times of great tribulation followed by amazing endless joy. No more sorrow, no more pain.
“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Rev 21:4-5, NASB)
If you need some comfort, a relationship with Jesus is openly available for you. Believe. Repent. Receive. You are loved and you are worthy. No matter your background, no matter your views. We would be glad to walk you through the process, or reach out to a believer around you.
I will pass along one final request. My Pastor issued this challenge and I pass it along as well. The people impacted in San Bernardino need prayer. Pray for those recovering, those who lost loved ones, and yes, even those who caused such devastation. Look at the list above. Pick one name and commit to pray for that person every day for the next month or longer if you feel led. Pray for the listed name, their families and all who are impacted.
If you have read this far, I thank you. It has never been our desire to be “in your face” here at 316Press, but there will be times that we need to put our position out there. Everything we do is to first and foremost glorify God. This is not a new position for this site and it will not change. There is such amazing healing to be found in music. The artists we highlight here (and others of course) provide music in an endless number of styles and tastes. The songs are insightful and some of the most beautiful love songs ever written. Slow down…listen to what you’ve been singing and let God’s grace and mercy flow to your heart.
We welcome all comments, but please keep it respectful.