A Response to Las Vegas

The ONE Concert was a beautiful celebration Sunday evening of World Communion. We, at Lovers Lane, were called together by the Crosswalk Worship community and led by our Modern Worship Band.

From its beginning days 16 years ago, Crosswalk has been about bringing ALL people together, and that spirit has grown into our mission of “Loving All people into relationship with Jesus Christ”. Cosmopolitan Church, Real Hope Church, our own Zimbabwean and Deaf Fellowships, along with our Modern Worship Band, led us to the Lord’s Table, which was beautifully set for all of us. The bread and wine were lifted up and called us through the Lord’s Prayer to the Table. We were black and white, young and old, Baptist and Methodists, gay and straight, seekers and believers; and Jesus set the Table.

The music took us to a level of worship that was so filled with the Spirit, so full of love. From the luring of the horn to the rhythm of the drums, from the beat of the bass to the strum of the guitars, we were drawn in close to the Lord’s Table and to one another. The voices of choral groups and the band, the signing of grace by our Deaf members and the sign choir, all lifted our hearts to experience being ONE in Christ. We were all hungry for unity, for walls to come down, for hugs to go out, and for the taste of God’s Love in the sweetness of the wine and bread. And we were fed. No one went away hungry. I kept hearing the words of the Psalmist ringing in my ear, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him.” Ps. 34:8

In the waning hours of World Communion Sunday night, another act of insane, indiscriminate gun-violence in our land rained down death and injury. How can anyone reach a point in life to desire to bring about so much death? How can we, the church, rest, when so much transforming is needed? For those who would say it was God’s will, or in some way this act fit into God’s purpose, I would say, “Not my God’s will or purpose.”

My God cried, as people died, some even while saving others. My God loved us enough to give us freedom to make choices but shuddered again Sunday night at the capacity that His creation has to embrace so much evil and destruction. God stood Sunday night as Light, brighter than the billion lights of the city, ready to illumine the darkness, and on guard to redeem the worst of circumstances. My God, who is good all the time, will raise the dead to new life and heal the broken hearted.

God can move us to the place to stand for right and good, love, and peace and the work of being peacemakers. We never know when we stand next to one filled with so much hate that she, or he, would take life from a sister or brother. We often stand by those broken and wounded in spirit. This reality makes so important our work of singing about God’s love and amazing grace. It makes essential our getting beyond who people are and where they come from to say, “You are welcome at this table. Our God invites us all, and turns no one away.” Christ’s Body and Blood were shed as an act of unconditional love that has the power to change us and make us new. Is there any doubt about this good news needing to be heard by many?

As our hearts break for others, may we take refuge in “tasting and seeing that the Lord is good…” Let us pray for our sisters and brothers of Las Vegas and across this country, who grieve and are weeping. May we be reminders of God’s love and proclaimers that “Joy comes in the morning.”