The news of what is being called "the massacre at Virginia Tech" last Monday has sent shock waves through the nation. Here in Charlottesville, it seems we are hit especially hard by the news. We live in a college town much like Blacksburg and our UVA alumni enjoy a good natured and spirited rivalry with Virginia Tech. This event did not happen a world away or across the country, but right here in our Commonwealth. News of the senseless killings at Tech made us consider that the victims were likely people much like those who are members and attendees of our college town church: university students, faculty, staff, and community members. As someone said, "This week we are all Hokies."
You can be sure that there are Christians who are involved in serious ministry in Blacksburg this week. There are churches, campus ministries, and individual believers who will be comforting the victims, their family members and loved ones. They will also be sharing Christ. Let’s join in lifting up our fellow believers this week as they minister in these trying circumstances. We will devote time in our 10:45 am worship service this Sunday to lift up the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg community.
As I have reflected on this event, I was reminded of the passage we read in worship last Sunday from Judges 19. That chapter describes an outrageous situation in Israel when an innocent woman, the Levite’s concubine, was killed by lawless men. When news spreads of this travesty, the author of Judges describes the reaction of Israel as they exclaim: "No such deed has been done or seen from the day that the children of Israel came up from the land of Egypt until this day" (v. 30). Every once in a while, even in a morally jaded and spiritually insensitive culture, some things happen that are so reprehensible in their ungodliness that they evoke outrage. Events like these remind us of the unpleasant reality of sin and evil.
At the close of Judges 19, the scriptural author intones: "Consider it, confer, and speak up!" (v. 30). Let us take his counsel to heart as we reflect on the sad events of this week at Virginia Tech.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
(Evangel article, 4/17/07)
In some ways this reminds me of 9/11 again. Here's a beautiful prayer I found:
"Prayer for Virginia Tech":
Mercy of God deliver us.
Love of Christ heal us.
Spirit of God strengthen us.
Lord, have mercy on all those hurt by the horrific massacre in Virginia -- the victims, the injured, the traumatized, the grieving, the rescuers, and the healers.
Prince of Peace, grant that through your holy Cross where you suffer with all humanity, we may rise up to new life with you, to be instruments of your Peace.
Through Christ our Lord, and the intercession of Fr. Mychal Judge, "the Saint of 9/11". Amen.
(from http://www.SaintMychalJudge.blogspot.com )
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