The tragedy in Connecticut has been really hard to handle for many. It has been a difficult situation for parents, for students, for teachers, and for families across the nation. Many parents are trying to figure out how to communicate the events that took place and what it means to their children. It has created an opportunity for some to discuss important details of their family and to love and hug each other more.
However, it has also created a religious frenzy too. I have seen posts calling for “God to be brought back into the school” or “This occurred because prayer isn’t allowed in the classroom” or even more tragic “God is using this to teach our country a lesson.” I subscribe to none of these.
As a Christian I feel like this is a great opportunity for God to be lifted up and Jesus to be brought back to the forefront of discussion around peace, love, and reconciliation, but I am not sure if I feel comfortable saying God is not in the schools or prayer isn’t allowed or that God is vindictive. This is a time for Christians to reveal the Gospel, the truth of the good news of Jesus--and those messages do not add up to what I hear as the good news of Jesus.
There are three things we teach and believe as Christians, but for some reason during tragedies they seem to disappear:
1) God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient: In all these Omni’s we find God being all of something. He is all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere. If we believe this as Christians then why do some of us feel like it is alright to say His power is taken away due to some laws and that His presence is gone due to some laws. To the last Omni, Yes, He did know what was going to happen, but He is not a God that wants to demolish young children to make His point clear. (Before someone says, well what about Herod or the Pharaoh in Egypt, think about the situations: Herod was jealous and gave into sin and Pharaoh had God’s people captive and was given fair warning. Oh, and it was before Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to redeem His people.) He allows for it to happen because He does not want to destroy His deal with mankind by taking away their free will.
2) We teach our kids that God is everywhere and He is in their hearts. But if this is the case, why do we display these messages, negating our whole lesson? What kind of fear is in the hearts of our children then? We need to teach them that no matter what the circumstance God never leaves them. Our God never fails! (Deuteronomy 4:31)
3) Finally, prayer should never leave the school regardless of laws. If we are instilling in our children the hope of the Lord and guiding them to learn how to pray, then they will know that prayer never leaves. We need to raise them in the ways of the Lord and teach them scripture. We need to have a house that is filled with prayer so they know how to do it. It should be something they embrace whether in school or out. It is their freedom to do so and they can do it with friends or on their own. (Joshua 24:15; Psalm 78:4-6)
During the 400 years of silence people felt that God was missing, but He was still there, waiting for the right time to reveal His plans. At this time, people may feel God is silent, but He has already revealed His plan to reconcile His creation back to Himself and it is the Christian’s duty to pass that along. Our role is to share that Gospel, the truth, and help people recognize that God is not missing and He never will be!