Sojourners Magazine: December 2013
ON DEC. 14, 2012, 20 children and six staff members were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In the aftermath of that massacre, our nation mobilized in a broad-based movement for meaningful gun regulation. Organizations against gun violence and parents of victims went all-out—rallying, writing letters, meeting with members of Congress, all to no avail. Even a bill to expand background checks was defeated. There have been at least 16 more mass shootings in the past year.
In the face of intractable evil, Christians have a moral obligation to keep moving forward. But it’s very hard. So we asked theologians, pastors, and advocates to help us reflect on grief, despair, and determined hope one year after Newtown.
Domestic violence is at epidemic proportions in our society, yet too often it stays hidden in our churches. Michelle D. Bernard gives an insider look at how churches can provide safety and support for those who are abused, and Tony Lapp looks at what churches need to know about those who abuse. And as a racialized society continues to divide us, Marty Troyer offers a reminder that the church has an important mission in proclaiming God’s justice, which can bind us together as the body of Christ.
It is into this violent, beautiful world that God enters. The Advent scriptures remind us that God’s coming “is like a refiner’s fire.” There is a divine cleansing power that can and will sweep through the world, pushing us toward life. Do not look away. God is with us.