We Cannot Remain Silent


Although, that is what I feel I have done since the largest mass shooting in United States history occurred this past Saturday evening. I did not hear anything of Orlando before service on Sunday and therefore did not have an opportunity to include it within the prayers of intercession.

Personally, I am at a loss for words. Not knowing what to say, other than to pray for the lives lost and the families affected by yet another shooting. A shooting in which we are still not fully aware of all of the details. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton penned a wonderful letter in response, stating that “we are killing ourselves.” We are all created in God’s image and as Paul rightly proclaims in this weeks epistle,

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

To skim through the headlines, it is amazing the finger-pointing that is now happening. Yes, things need to change, however pointing fingers is not going to make that happen. We must use our voices and talk with those that are in power and let them know we want change.  We do not know what is going to work until we try it. Because if we keep on doing what we have been doing, we will continue to witness on average one multiple murder a day in the United States. In the words of Bishop Eaton, we are killing ourselves.

The fact that the extremist that took 49 lives was Muslim should not factor into the equation. If you recall, the shooting that took place a year ago tomorrow in Charleston in an AME Church was perpetrated by someone that was raised in the ELCA. Evil is evil, no matter what your faith tradition is.

I encourage you to reach out. I encourage you to pray for the victims by name; they could have easily been one of us, a family member, or a friend. Most importantly, continue to show the love of Christ that you do so well. The love that knows no label and places no barriers in it’s way.

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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