Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Short devotion: Boston Bombings - Acts 8:35

Acts 8:35         Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

On the day after a terrorist tragedy, it’s very difficult to talk or write about the good news. All of us were shocked by what we heard and saw on the news bulletins from Boston. It’s unbelievable to think that someone would deliberately target men, women, and children in a desperate and wicked attempt to make their message known. It was a despicable act of cowardice and there is only one eternal destination for the perpetrators of such a satanic act: hell.

The good news is that the people of Boston reacted magnificently in the midst of this painful tragedy. The first responders ran towards the injured without any fear of being caught up in a second explosion. Marathon runners who were dazed and shocked were carefully looked after by medics and passers-by. The wounded and fallen were instantly treated by skilled professionals who have worked all night long with those who are in a critical condition. And the residents of Boston – homeowners, apartment dwellers, and store keepers opened up their places to help anyone who had nowhere to stay or who had to walk for miles in order to get home.

Today, churches are open all over the city for people to congregate and pray. Even the Museum of Art has freely opened its doors so that people may come in to find a quiet place for contemplation, renewal, and peace. As human beings, we have an amazing capacity of overcoming this kind of evil through the support, kindness, and compassion that we bestow upon those who are shocked, saddened, and sorrowful in the worst of events and times.

Boston will recover its poise and its passion for life. The people of that great city have a great sense of what freedom and liberty are all about. They will not surrender to the terrorists, nor will they give up on their hopes, dreams, and ambitions. They are good people just like us; the good news is that they will survive by embracing, healing, and encouraging one another.

Questions for personal reflection

What did I initially think and feel when I heard the news about these bombings? How can I support the people of Boston today?

Prayer:            O Lord, embrace the good people of Boston with your love and strength. Be with the first responders who treated those with serious injuries and those who have been terrified by these explosions. Be with the families who are anxious about their loved ones and comfort them in the midst of their fears. Bless the police and investigators, granting them the ability to know the causes of these explosions quickly and to act appropriately. O Lord, be with all the Bostonian people. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to traqair@aol.com.

Today’s image is of a drawing that John created called “Boston Bound.” It features the Boston Skyline as seen from the bay. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6143/5948796658_990048bfef_b.jpg

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