This has been a tough week. I write a week after the attack in Boston. We have seen the explosions in West, Texas, a town through which I regularly drive, this week.
The events in Boston and West have reminded us of intentional evil and accidental devastation. I write not about why God allows either. I have written about that, and will again, but this blog is something different.
In response to Boston and West, there has been a seeming consensus, including in what I have heard and seen from many church leaders (thankfully, not from my own pastor): The heroism of bystanders in Boston who ran towards the explosions in order to save runners and the kindness of the citizens of West to families of victims have been praised as the only good to be seen, the only source of hope in the midst of these events. Social media has seemingly been filled with this quote attributed to Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always see people who are helping.’”
Do not get me wrong. I am in favor of kindness, heroism, and hospitality. I am glad there are helpers in the scary times. But these are not the greatest thing to see this week. Not every helper in Boston or first responder in West was a Christian. If kindness is all we Christians have to point to in a week like this, then we have nothing more than the rest of the world.
The greatest thing about this week is that Jesus offers life. If this week makes us forget that Christ is Lord, then we need to do some basic reexamination. Jesus knew we would have weeks like this when He said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Our hope does not spring from the kindness of strangers. Our hope comes from the One whom we worship, the One who sees our need and our despair and makes a miracle where there is none to be seen.
We are Easter people. In death, there is resurrection. In Christ, there is life. Even in terror and fertilizer explosions, there is hope through the One who has overcome the world.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blessed assurance control: That Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well.