This past Sunday, millions of Christians were gathered together worshipping, listening to a sermon and opening their Bibles. Meanwhile, a rogue gunman open fired on a church.
After the news broke, my heart shattered for those in Sutherland Springs, TX. Then, I felt terrified. What if that had been my church? If one church can be a target, all of them can be targets.
The shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs was the largest church shooting in history with 26 fatalities, including children.
The church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy, lost his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, in the malicious attack. I ache for this community, not only as an American, but also as a fellow Christian.
Terrorizing worshippers—that was the gunman’s goal. This goal has been attempted over hundreds of years by ruthless governments and cold terrorist groups, all with the intention of extinguishing churches through intimidation.
But the Church is not intimidated by violence.
Throughout the years, it seems the Church rises up even more resilient after attacks than before. The Church’s purpose and fire grow with each blow.
The evil forces that have tried again and again to snuff out the Church are oblivious to Christianity’s real source of strength: the cross.
A symbol of Christianity worn around people’s necks and hung up in homes, the cross was used first as a symbol of fear and intimidation. The cross meant death.
Jesus’ crucifixion was, after all, a warning to all believers that if they continued to stand firm in their faith, they would be next.
How did that work out?
Christianity grew since then to be one of the largest faiths in the entire world and continues to grow like wildfire. You see, what the Church realized is death is not the end.
While the cross meant death, after Jesus rose from the dead and witnessed to His followers, the cross transitioned from a symbol of death to a symbol of everlasting life and hope.
What these attackers fail to see is that Christians are not afraid of death. The threats and attacks will not slow the Church, they will only increase its power.
The Church thrives because it has no fear in death.
In fact, instead of violence, “Christianity can be easier suffocated with comfort, to the point that we forget who we are.”
Christians have no fear of death. Before Christ, we were already dead. Christ gave us life and that life cannot be taken away.
Grieving will continue across the nation and the world for those who lost their lives. The community of Sutherland Springs will mourn over their loved ones, as millions of others will mourn with them.
But when Sunday morning comes, they will be there, singing and praising their Father in Heaven. They will commune together. They will open their Bibles. And they will bear witness that death has no power in Christ.