When someone chooses to follow Jesus Christ, they have understood the foolishness of going their own way. We begin to understand that when we pray in the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come," that also means that we are saying our kingdoms must go. Also, when we experience true salvation in Christ, we die. We die to our old way of life. We die to our sin. We mystically share in the death of Jesus Christ that we might cling to the hope of our future resurrection. This is Christianity; this is our calling. We become "dead men (and women) walking." We are crucified ones . . . yet, we also live a new life through the power of Christ.
4 Christ-followers lost their lives in Colorado this past Saturday evening and Sunday morning at the hands of the same gunman. (http://story.denversun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/73aa4032e9682bab/id/307978/cs/1/)
We mourn their loss. We mourn with their families. But for those who have died to their old lives and shared in Christ's crucifixion, God's word promises that they are in his presence at death.
O Lord, may their deaths lead others to you. O Lord be close to their families. Also Lord, be close to the family of the gunman. They must be asking very hard questions right now, but we ask for your grace in their lives. I pray also for the security guard who took the gunman's life. Help her to appropriately deal with her own issues as well.
How might we respond personally?
People come to Jesus for a myriad of reasons: to receive forgiveness of sins, to experience life, to heal a broken heart, to follow a the only true God, to respond accurately to the truth claims of Jesus Christ, etc. etc. The end result is always the same: our old lives must go and we begin to receive true life, new, rich and eternal life. "For anyone who is in Christ they are a new creation, the old things pass away, new things come" (2 Cor. 5:17).