I had my first day as a substitute teacher in a local school recently, and in a quiet moment while students worked, I found myself surveying the room to plan what I would do to protect students if we should come under attack.  A deadbolt would lock the door from the inside.  Black paper strips were already attached to the inside of the door to cover windows if needed.  A tall bookcase sat beside the door.  It could be pulled in front of the door as a barricade.  I would order students to huddle down in a back corner of the room, and we could use desks as a shield around us.  Then I realized what I was doing.  At first I called myself crazy, but a bright paper posted on the door giving instructions for just such an emergency confirmed that I wasn’t crazy at all.  It’s our world that has gone crazy.

Violence erupted again today, April 15, 2013.  A day traditionally known as Tax Day to Americans, will now also be the anniversary of the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts.  Two exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  A third blew up at the Kennedy Library.  I pray no more will explode.

School shootings, random attacks, and bombings are unsettling to me.  They make me face the reality that violence and danger can be anywhere.  What can we do?

I find comfort knowing that the goodness of our Risen Lord is greater than the evil in this world.  Christ has authority over Satan. (Genesis 3:15)  The Bible tells us that in our fallen world Satan might win a few battles, but Christ ultimately wins the war.  (Book of Revelation)  The Book of John tells us, “The light shines through the darkness, and darkness can never extinguish it.”   (John 1:5)  In this verse, light refers to Jesus, and darkness refers to Satan/evil.  This verse says that Jesus will always shine through the darkness (evil), and that Satan will never be able to extinguish the light of Christ.  Praise God!

Clouds might hide the sun and the moon at times, but that doesn’t mean they no longer exist.  Their light is still there.  Clouds and darkness cannot extinguish their light.  That’s how it is with the presence of God through Jesus Christ.  God’s goodness and order still prevail, and will forever more.  It is up to us, as Christians, to allow Christ’s light to shine through us for the good of others, especially in dark and difficult times.

As I think about those who have been injured, lost loved ones, or find themselves in fear because of violent attacks, I pray for God to comfort them, bring them peace, and help them heal. May the light of Christ and the hope He brings be ever present in their lives.