February 21, 2018
1There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:1–3
Colorado state representative Patrick Neville, a veteran and Columbine survivor, shared thoughts this morning that reflect the wisdom of Jesus. Asked about what he would say to the survivors of the Douglas HS massacre last Wednesday, he spoke of making the incident matter in their own lives. As a Columbine HS student, he had been going down the “wrong path”. The mass shooting at his school caused him to reflect on his life and change his course. As minority leader of the Colorado legislature, he is making his life count. Those who were killed did not die in vain, because at least one life was changed for the better.
Jesus would say something similar. Legislators and others who shape laws and procedures are considering how best to decrease the likelihood of another shooter. However, you can do something that affects you personally—and only you can do it: Consider death’s reminder that your life is uncertain in this world, but infinitely worse is the tragedy of dying without faith in the Savior who gives you eternal life. Repent of that which is not pleasing to God. Then live by faith that you are forgiven. Live with the certain hope that by God’s grace, when you die by any means, you will enter the presence of your heavenly Father.
As if we needed another reminder of what Ash Wednesday means. To be told “you are dust and to dust you shall return”, not with words and ashes, but with malice and a rifle, is a harsh lesson. But let us learn it, live in that truth, and make our lives matter. There are many ways to die, but only one way to live—in Christ.
May His peace keep you,