“THUS SAYS THE LORD: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

Sunday. 11:20 A.M. Sutherland Springs, Texas. First Baptist Church. 26 dead, ages 18 months to 77. Many wounded. Shooter, age 26, dead. Point made. Weeping and wailing.

Inaction? Not this time. Let there be demands from the Church, from pulpits, from legislators, from mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, from strangers, from gun owners, from the Glory of the heavens and the bowels of hell. Enough! We demand action on responsible gun laws, respectful of the Constitution, including the Preamble which states that “We the people…establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common good, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity….”, yet mindful of the human tragedy screaming from bloody floors and stained pews, walls echoing the chaotic blasts disrupting praises to God.

Yes, the shooter pulled the trigger. But the gun did the killing. The twin forces of human frailty and gun chaos united to paint a tragic canvas for All Saints Sunday. Again, bells must ring, candles must be lit, prayers must comfort, tears must fall and arms must embrace to comfort.

Resolve must stiffen our backs! God’s grace promises strength and courage! It is the Psalmist who sings, “…be strong, and let your heart take courage….” (Psalm 27:14) We must resolve to present common sense gun laws such as universal background checks and domestic violence restraining orders. We must resolve to to oppose Constitutional Carry and Permitless Carry laws. Write and call Senators and Representatives in state and nation. Get your church to sponsor a conversation by ENGAGE and Protect Minnesota.

We weep. We resolve. Act.

Rev. Jodi Barry, Uwe Bilger, Jay Thacker, Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes