Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | May 26, 2022 | Pastor's Blog

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May 26, 2022

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)


I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. (2 Peter 1:12)


I am beginning to see that much of prayer is grieving. – Henri Nouwen

Dear Friends,


Once again, we are met with sorrowful news, reminding us of the brokenness of our world, the transient and often violent nature of life, our frailty, death's inevitability, and why the world stands in need of a Savior who tells us to repent.


Two days ago, nineteen students and two adults died in a shooting inside one classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, marking the deadliest school shooting in Texas state history.


Mourning parents, families, and a community begin that long, heartbreaking death march to bury their children. Politicians will take stands and wrestle with cause and preemptive possibilities. People will discourse on the matter. All the while, sin’s power shows itself as almost undefeatable.


Death's Reality


No one knows how humans would have left this world had there been no Fall in sin. But as it stands, death, the dividing of body and soul through physical death, both sin’s penalty and God’s judgment (Gen. 2:17; 3:19, 22; Rom. 5:12; 8:10; 1 Cor. 15:21), is one of life’s inevitabilities.


Death is descriptive in one sense. When the soul is separated from the body, we have a picture of the actual spiritual separation from God that first brought about physical death (Gen. 2:17; 5:5) and will continue after death for those who exist in this world without Christ. Death, then, is an enemy (1 Cor. 15:26), not natural, a dread (Heb. 2:15).


For Christians, death's fear has been removed even as its foulness remains. Jesus, the risen Savior, passed through a more shocking, disturbing death than any Christian will ever have. We will not know this. Christians should view their death as a certainty but also a boon. Paul wrote, for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain... I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far (Phil. 1:21, 23) since away from the body will mean at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).


Repentances Necessity


Separation from God for all eternity is real. The Son of God became flesh to take and fall under the full wrath of God on our sins, on the cross. He is the only remedy of God to confront sin and death once and for all. And since, after death, there is no possibility of salvation for the lost (Luke 16:26) Jesus' response to those two events He spoke to in Luke 13 is binding.


The scope of what took place in Uvalde, Texas, calls for many responses, acts of care, and courage. Many things will be said, are being said, and should be said in light of such inhumanity. In Jesus, we find words that must be said, with the right tone, for the right reason—the saving of many lives. Repent, time is short, death is real, and judgment is certain.


C.S. Lewis once wrote; The human spirit will not even try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Events like those of Tuesday tell us all is not well. Life is precious, and Christians are on the side of life, both now and for all eternity in Christ.

I am so tired of waiting.

Aren’t you,

for the world to become good

and beautiful and kind?

Let us take a knife

and cut the world in two—

and see what worms are eating

at the rind.

Langston Hughes

Yes, I am coming quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)


May God have mercy on us all.

Pastor Joe