In tragedy's aftermath, be the embodiment of scripture

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And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13:13

The recent unfortunate events that transpired in Sutherland Springs, Texas served as a harrowing reminder that even places of worship are not immune to violence.

We must however remain steadfast in our faith in the face of evil, but also proactive in making sure our daily lives embody what the scriptures preach about loving – and listening – to our fellow man. It’s not enough to offer “thoughts and prayers,” in the aftermath of tragic events. Rev. Herbert Nelson, the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) attested earlier this week on the organization’s website.

The takeaway from Nelson’s words?

It’s important that we use these instances – ones happening at an alarming rate – to do more than just offer momentary condolences.  Here inside Grace, our associate pastor Judy Dwyer echoed similar sentiments, adding that action through one’s embodiment of Christ’s teaching means so much more than our words could ever express.

“It is easy for those of us who have never experienced this kind of trauma to stand on the fringes and quote scripture. To do that, however, is to reduce the events in Sutherland Springs to just one more story about gun violence, and scripture to meaningless blather.”

Instead, Rev. Judy proposed the following:

Better to embody scripture by loving our neighbor: listening to what hurts them, challenging unjust systems, and working to change lives. Better to live as if we believe that there is more to life than death. Better to listen for that still, small voice of God that speaks louder than all the atrocious things human beings do to one another. Whatever, whomever, wherever we fear, God is greater. God will wipe away every tear and, in due time, restore what has been lost. It may not look like what has passed, but God will do a new thing.”


Continue to show compassion, faith and strength in Christ, yourself and your fellow man and you’ll have enough solace to never feel the urge to offer just momentary thoughts and prayers in tragedy.

This article was written by Kerith Gabriel. Contact Kerith at