Following the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, ABC General Secretary A. Roy Medley encourages American Baptists to be in prayer for those touched by this tragedy. He said:
“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims who will endure the lifelong loss of their loved ones. May God bring comfort and solace to each.
We pray as well for the family of the killer, whose lives have also been torn asunder by his violent assault.
A friend of mine recently had a layover in a Middle East country and at his hotel he asked, ‘Is it safe for me here?’ To which the clerk responded, ‘Sir, It us safer for you here than in the US.’ As a country, how many more of these events shall we endure? How many more mass killings will turn another campus, theater, or mall into a killing field until we take action to create reasonable gun control that makes such tragedies less likely.
May our shock, anger, grief and prayers motivate all of us to find a path forward.”
The reflection below, written by Rev. Jeffery L. Savage, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Springfield, Oregon, was written following the tragic shootings in Roseburg.
I Grieve Today With a Heart Open to God
In the wake of yesterday’s horrific and senseless killings in Roseburg,
I grieve today. . .
. . . for precious lives lost, and dreams destroyed;
. . . for broken-hearted parents, and traumatized students;
. . . for the loss of our children’s innocence, and our leaders’ lack of will to act;
. . . for a nation of people committed more to individual rights, than to the common good;
. . . over our compulsion to argue across the divide, and our refusal to come together for mercy’s sake;
. . . for a society addicted to fear, and anaesthetized to violence;
. . . for prayer reduced to platitude and disconnected from the fruit of the Spirit.
I grieve today. . .
. . . not as those who have no hope, seeing only death and despair;
. . . believing in the power of love, and word of life;
. . . praying that justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream;
. . . calling the Spirit of God to come as a mighty wind to shake and fill the Church with power;
. . . asking God to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable;
. . . in the trembling knowledge that the fulfillment of my prayer begins with me.
I grieve today with a heart open to God, in whom all things are possible.