He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
This Daily Devotion, with only the most modest of changes, was written and shared by Timothy Homp of Antigo, Wisconsin. He is the son of a Lutheran pastor and a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Antigo. We are deeply grateful to him for his solid, Bible-based perspective and witness to this recent tragedy. Pastor Klaus
Last night our small town of Antigo became yet another school-shooting statistic when our local high school prom ended with a former student shooting students leaving the school auditorium.
Thankfully, only two students were wounded before local police fatally shot the gunman.
The shooter was a neighbor who lived across our street. He graduated with our youngest son last year. He and his mother were friendly neighbors whom we might greet any morning when we let out our dogs or in the evening when we returned from work.
Nice people. Nice mom. Nice young man.
Nothing that we knew gave any indication of why a friendly, creative, musically gifted, fine young man would take a high-powered rifle to the school prom to shoot people. At this point, no one really knows why or what the motivation or cause might have been.
Will a developing profile help to explain how and why this happened?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Or is this just another incomprehensible, senseless act of violence that has left a fine young man dead, some schoolmates wounded, and many parents confused and grieving?
Incomprehensible? No, not really. Sin isn't incomprehensible.
You won't hear it on the evening news, but the truth is we live in a sinful world. Evidence of sin and its results are as close as our own skin. As shocking and upsetting as this is when it happens next door, it really ought not come as a surprise. Sin has few limitations. Check the newspaper, TV news, or your own memory, and you will see it to be so.
Last night's headline sin was committed in Antigo by a young man and neighbor we liked and trusted. Today and tomorrow it will be somewhere else, caused by someone else.
How does the hymn say it, "Far as the curse is found"?
If the curse is widespread, and it is, then so must be the Christian community's response to sin. Yesterday we prayed for healing of the injured students and all who had been touched by this crime, which means we also prayed for the mother and family of the deceased shooter.
This afternoon a prayer vigil is going on at Peace Lutheran Church, and I'm sure Antigo's other churches are doing much the same.
Having celebrated the Savior's resurrection just a few weeks ago, we know the cure for sin and death is the Savior who lived, died and rose so death might be defeated. That's what the hymn-writer wants to convey: "He comes to make His blessings flow ... far as the curse is found."
Jesus is the Source of all our blessings, of our forgiveness and peace and joy. Even in the face of evil we can sing: "Joy to the World! The Lord is come ... the Savior reigns ... with truth and grace ... and wonders of His love."
And today, after the shooting, we believers have the joy and privilege of sharing this Good News ... far as the curse is found.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in a dark and evil work, may we praise You for ending the curse of sin and granting us forgiveness and hope and joy. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries