My heart is breaking for the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. What happened at First Baptist Church is every pastor’s worst nightmare. It was the worst mass shooting at a house of worship in American history. There are no words to comfort those who experienced such horrific tragedy, senseless violence, death and devastation.

But we know that in their darkest hours that God was near to the victims and our hope is in the promise of God’s presence. We pray that God will be with those who are suffering; as Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” We pray that in their grief, the people of Sutherland Springs will cry out in pain and that God will hear their laments as God heard the cries of Israelites in Egypt, and come to deliver them and all of us from the scourge of violence that is wreaking havoc on our nation.

We are at war with ourselves. I know this because I was interviewed by four different local news affiliates after the shooting and every reporter who called me for an interview asked me about security. They asked, “What measures are you going to take this week in response to the shooting in Texas?” “Do you have a security team?” “Will you call the police?” “Will you have armed guards on campus or metal detectors in the narthex?” “Will you invite your members to bring their guns to church?” The only topic they wanted to discuss was church security.

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