But God bears our griefs

Isaiah 53:3-4 He is a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him . . . But he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.

With all of Pittsburgh, we are shocked and grieving. The massacre at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill Saturday took place just a few minutes away from us, in a lovely neighborhood that is home to many of our church family. Dr. Rabinowitz, who was shot when he tried to give aid to other victims, was a friend and colleague of one of our members for forty years. He (and other victims) was known and loved by many others, including a couple who saw him at breakfast shortly before he was killed.

Last night at our service of mourning, we could weep knowing that God is acquainted with deepest grief; he carries our sorrows with us. And yes, one day he will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears (Isaiah 25:8).

But “how long, how long till these tears are gone?” (Eric J. Marshall’s song that Elise and Chris so eloquently shared with us). We weep that this tragedy has hit us here, where we live, tearing the fabric of our peaceful lives. But we weep for all of the senseless killing that has taken place across our broken and bleeding nation. How long, how long must we all endure this?

We must each of us do what we can, not only in grieving and expressing our solidarity with the families of the victims, but also in taking action to limit such tragedies in the future. This has nothing to do with the second amendment! No one suspected Robert Bowers would be a killer.

3 thoughts on “But God bears our griefs

  1. I am privileged that my paternal grandfather was a Jew. I’m privileged that my mother in her maiden name shares the same last name as one of those who died: Simon. As we seek for and find bridges with those who are hurt, abused and mistreated, we find bridges with our Lord Jesus who was the ultimate Bridge builder. May you and I be like Him.
    There are bridges of light and bridges of darkness.
    To my regret, I also share some bridges with the killer. I’m caucasian. I live in Pittsburgh. Like all the killers in these scenarios around America, I’m male. Someone has said of Acts 20:28-29 that there is a bit of wolf in every one of us. Admitting that, sharing that, getting help for that is what keeps us from going where Robert Bowers went. Probably no one reading this will ever shoot and kill someone. But we hurt, reject, misunderstand and get angry with others in ways that Jesus says is like murder (Mt 5:21-22). May I be humble in confessing my weaknesses. And in so doing may I be another kind of bridge-builder – one who gives others the environment of grace where they can do the same.
    Together, we can change our world. Separated, we will continue to contribute to its destruction. Every wall does that. Every bridge overcomes those walls.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Estimados Pr. David e Débora
    Que o Senhor possa consolar os seus corações, e também curar os corações das famílias que violentamente sofreram estas tragédias! Sei que neste momento não existem palavras, para expressar o quanto sentimos, é muito triste. Mais estaremos orando por vocês e por todos os que perderam os seus familiares, pelos irmãos da sua igreja e por consolo e salvação de toda a cidade de Squirrel Hil, e por salvação e arrependimento por Robert Bowers.
    Um Grande Abraço!
    Claudio e Marlene

    Liked by 2 people

  3. For those who don’t read Portuguese, Marlene concludes saying they’ll be praying for us and for all those who lost family members, for our church family and for the consolation and salvation of the whole city of Squirrel Hill and for the repentance and salvation of Robert Bowers.
    Wow! I confess I hadn’t gotten there! I’d only thought about his receiving justice!

    Liked by 1 person

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