“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
We are all deeply grieved by the reports of two blasts occurring at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three have died and 176 severely injured. Sadly, in a split second, people and families have been shattered and forever changed by this terrible tragedy. Even though the perpetrators have been apprehended, we must still respond in faith to these events.
We must first pray with hope. The most powerful weapon at our disposal against any evil is the hope-filled prayer of God’s people. We have prayed and will continue to pray for those in attendance at the Marathon as well as the families of those affected by this heinous act. Pictures flood the news media all week of the brave dedication of the policemen, firemen, and medical personnel treating and protecting the victims of this evil act. May God shower these men and women with His grace to maintain their strength and to find helpful words for those hurting people.
But it comes down to this. Some people are at war in an insane rebellion against our Creator God. That is what’s at the root of this kind of murderous action. Blame it on anything you want: on religion, economics, politics. The underlying sin behind every sin is treason against the One who made us for love and flourishing. Sin is insanity and destroys what is good, right, and true. Sin makes no sense. It is not rational, nor can be reasoned with. Sin thrives in darkness and hates the light. Sin opposes everything God loves and is compelled to ruin God’s plans and purposes to put this world right.
Though the whole human race participates in this craziness, God is committed to extending his healing grace anywhere sin is found. God, not bombs, has the last say over death. He comes into the world to put out the fires of the world’s destruction. He does this, not by military might or terror, but by swallowing evil up like a bitter pill.
God entered this fractured world, placed himself in our place and endured the pain and horror of evil on a Roman cross until it is fully exhausted him. He bore all of its wrath just as though they were the powers of hell targeting us. Why? Because our Creator is peace. He is against anything that tries to destroy it.
His journey while among us points us to that new creation, the new way of doing things. By his resurrection, this became a new world. This is a new world where bombs don’t serve us any more. This is a world where evil ones who do evil deeds are expelled from the kingdom of God.
The world will not always be this way. But right now evil is real. This act in Boston act reminds us, again, that we need to focus on the hero who is able and willing. Thankfully, that hero is the second member of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. As those bombs exploded, he touched down on that bloody, shrapnel-strewn, smoke-filled Boylston Street to undo everything untrue. That He comes proved that our world will not always be this way. And though we may never fully understand why God allowed this senseless bombing, we do know, unquestionably, that he cares and his covenant with us will not be diminished by the death caused by evil in any form.
So we grieve with hope. So we pray to Jesus Christ who calms our hearts and proclaims the power of his gospel to the places of greatest need. So saints here today, know that he hears our prayers. Let us grieve and mourn for the City of Boston and for what it has undergone. But let us do so with hope, knowing Jesus is Lord of creation and the Great Physician of every wound.
Know with all your heart, as Paul reminds us in Romans Chapter 8, “. . .in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.