Happy Memorial Day weekend.  I trust that all of you are enjoying a long weekend.  I’m thankful that many of you who are traveling this weekend are able to worship with us online, or even better, have found another church in our fellowship and you can be a blessing to them on this day.

There will definitely be a military flavor to this message.  My son Luke is a Marine and my future son-in-law Lucas is a Sailor in our Navy.  The focus of Memorial Day is on those who have fallen in service to our country and if they died believing in Jesus to our VICTORIOUS Lord.  There have been unavoidable events down in Texas this week that we need to talk about.

The school shooting in Uvalde, TX has broken the hearts of our nation.  My twins just finished their finals on Friday and are on summer break, but for 19 families the summer is anything but a vacation.  Two teachers sacrificed their lives for their students in the massacre, Irma Garcia was one of them.  Her husband Joe died of a heart attack a couple days after his wife’s death.  They were 46 and had four children, one of them recently became a Marine.

The first question that we ask is why?  We’ll be doing a deeper dive on that topic this Wednesday.  It is the first chapter in our book a Case for Faith.  You are welcome to join us for the study.  But for now the very short answer is that we live in a sinful world.  There is evil in this world.  Sadly this won’t be the last school shooting.  It is important to remember that our God does limit the suffering of this veil of tears.

The next question is now what?  What can we do?  We want to do something.  I think from policy, security stand points – these are important discussions as we try to secure our nations schools that hold our most precious children.  For the Christian, we can do two important things.  The first is to pray.  Pray that God would give his peace to the broken families of Uvalde.  Pray for the family of the shooter who must live with this horror as well.  And finally to pray for the throng of damaged Americans, as we’ve seen, it’s not just the young who are so empty that are willing to do unspeakable acts, but it’s every age!  We know that prayer is powerful and effective, God hears our prayer and acts for the good of his church.

The second thing we can do is to offer hope.  In a real way we are the answer to that prayer.  You can point out how good and loving your God is.  Our church is a beacon of love and forgiveness in a dying world.

John’s words end the book of Revelation.  These are extremely hopeful.  Listen to the first verses of our text.  12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from Revelation 22 – VICTORIOUS End.