The pain of this shooting in Florida is unbearable. Of course, the same could be said of the Las Vegas shooting. Or that church shooting in Texas not many months ago. Or that school shooting that took place in Kentucky only a few weeks ago. But I just read the names and brief biographical sketches about each of these victims. I am sitting in the privacy of my library at home and cannot stop my tears from flowing.
Friends, we need each other. This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the Lenten season. Could I make an modest request if you think of yourself as a Christian? Attend church this Sunday. At First Church we will remember these victims. Lighting candles doesn’t solve anything. But that doesn’t mean it is nothing. We need one another. Gun violence must stop. Common sense says it can stop.
I don’t often do this in a Take a Breath blog, but here goes . . . If you are part of the First Church community . . . please show up this Sunday. We need to be together. Bring your children. We need all the babies and smiling faces of children we can possibly see. We need to say hello and hug one another. We need to share the peace of Christ. We need to affirm life in a week that has been so very very bleak. If you are in the city this weekend, as your minister, as your friend, as someone who has journeyed with you for almost ten years now, I’m asking you — let’s come together this Sunday.
We need one another. And as I end every sermon every single week, I say to you today . . . I love you all. Let’s love one another.