Come Quickly, Lord Jesus
October 2, 2017 by Jacob Phillips 0 comments
Sometimes it hits closer to home. It did, quite literally, when it happened at Pulse Nightclub. It did, metaphorically, last night. I've been to country music concerts; many of them, in fact. I've been to a Jason Aldean concert
It's hard not to personalize these tragedies, but of course the attack had nothing to do with me. An evil man did Satan's work last night, and at least 50 people are dead and at least 400 people are injured as a result. When we think of Faustian evil, we often think of dictators or slumlords or slaveowners. Men who sold their souls to evil and as a result achieved great infamy or wealth or earthly success. But such arrangements, in a twisted way, make a sort of sense. In a strictly transactional sense, we can understand the allure of earthly success or great wealth, and God help us, we can understand doing bad acts if the reward was high enough. More shocking, perhaps, and arguably more evil, is when men do Satan's work not for great wealth or great fame, but for a fleeting moment of recognition.
"But for a notorious name, the ethereal shadow of a career, and a brief moment of fleeting pleasure with no true peace? This was the blackest and most captivating tragedy of all, few could have remained indifferent to the growing intrigue of this individual who apparently shook hands with the devil and freely chose to descend to the molten, sulphuric chasm of Hell for all eternity for so little in exchange."
We often hear that after such tragedies, what we need is not prayer, but action. And perhaps we do need action. But either way, such response misunderstands prayer. We pray not because we are otherwise powerless; we pray because we have access to Power. If you have the ear of the King, you don't take action by arguing with a pauper. So we do pray; we pray with fervor and passion and without shame. We plead with the God who takes up the cause of the downtrodden and vindicates the cause of the outcast.
We live in the age of the apple; we live, in other words, in an evil age. The attack on Las Vegas occurred on the first day of a month that ends in All Hallows' Eve, where we remember the dearly departed and the saints of old, and are reminded of all those who have been lost because of sin, because of terror, because of evil, a dearly departed that now include those killed at a country music concert in Las Vegas. May they rest in peace. Maranatha.
It can seem flippant, or even callous, to turn so quickly in thought and word after such tragedies to Jesus. If we were talking to a family member of one of the victims, it probably wouldn't serve them to quickly pivot to "but isn't it so helpful to know we serve a sovereign and powerful God?" Having said that, and knowing that I'm writing not to victims of the attack, but to my brothers and sisters in Christ, in times like these I'm reminded of the words of Henry Longfollow, who during the Civil War and after hearing the news of the death of his son, penned the following words:
"And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth, I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill towards men
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead nor does He sleep
For Chris is here; His Spirit near
Bring peace on earth, goodwill towards men."