The news is filled with reports of the horrific shooting on Saturday, which happened while U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona held a public meeting with constituents in a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. Six persons died, among them a nine-year-old girl. Thirteen persons were wounded, including Rep. Giffords. Please keep all of the persons involved in this tragic event and their families in your prayers.
Both law enforcement officials and elected politicians have attributed an increase in violence and violent threats to bitter political rhetoric used in recent elections. I implore you to avoid this kind of divisive and antagonistic rhetoric that can lead to violence.
And please pray faithfully in your congregations as well as personally for an end to violence in our streets, across our nation, and around the world.
“ So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4: 11-16 (NIV)