Pastoral Letter in Response to July 2016 Dallas Shootings

By October 5, 2017Pastoral Letters

July 8, 2016

Dear Colleyville Family,

Last night we experienced what is probably the greatest tragedy in our metropolitan area since the murder of President Kennedy more than fifty years ago.  Men of violence plotted together and then sat and waited in cold blood to ambush and murder innocent police officers – five of whom are now dead. This kind of wickedness and evil is terrifying, and it’s almost unimaginable that something like this could take place so close to where we live and work.  I don’t know about you, but I still feel almost in shock this morning, as though all of this is a nightmare that isn’t real and I will soon wake up from. But it is real, and it is terrible.

And so today we grieve. We grieve for the loss of innocent human life. We grieve for the women who are now widows. We grieve for the children who are now fatherless. We grieve that we live in a world where wickedness and evil seems to so often have the upper hand. We grieve because although the power of death has been broken, death has not yet been fully defeated. But today, in your grief, I would encourage you to do something else as well. Even as we have been going through the Psalms this summer, we are seeing, again and again, that to pray faithfully as Christians means to ask God to bring justice, to come and deliver the righteous and defeat the wicked.

Let’s pray today as the psalmists teach us to pray – for although the power of hatred and evil seems fresh this morning, it is an ancient foe, and one that has plagued the human race ever since we were exiled from the Garden so long ago. And there is no political solution that will fix this. There is no law that we can pass or work we can do on our own that will bring an end to this terrible and seemingly unrelenting cycle of terror and violence. Our only hope is this — that we have a King who is more powerful than all these things. And that he will surely come and deliver us. Let’s use Psalm 6 (our sermon text for Sunday, in the Spirit’s providence) and Psalm 94 today to grieve, but also to cry out to our God and King to come and rescue us from evil.

Come soon, Lord Jesus!

In the Peace of the Risen Christ,

Pastor Josh


Psalm 6

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; 
according to The Sheminith. 
A Psalm of David.

	O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
		nor discipline me in your wrath.
	Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
		heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
	My soul also is greatly troubled.
		But you, O LORD—how long?
	Turn, O LORD, deliver my life;
		save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
	For in death there is no remembrance of you;
		in Sheol who will give you praise?
	I am weary with my moaning;
		every night I flood my bed with tears;
		I drench my couch with my weeping.
	My eye wastes away because of grief;
		it grows weak because of all my foes.
	Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
		for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
	The LORD has heard my plea;
		the LORD accepts my prayer.
	All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
		they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
Psalm 94

        O LORD, God of vengeance,
		O God of vengeance, shine forth!
	Rise up, O judge of the earth;
		repay to the proud what they deserve!
	O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
		how long shall the wicked exult?
	They pour out their arrogant words;
		all the evildoers boast.
	They crush your people, O LORD,
		and afflict your heritage.
	They kill the widow and the sojourner,
		and murder the fatherless;
	and they say, “The LORD does not see;
		the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
	Understand, O dullest of the people!
		Fools, when will you be wise?
	He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
	He who formed the eye, does he not see?
	He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
	He who teaches man knowledge—
		the LORD—knows the thoughts of man,
		that they are but a breath.
	Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD,
		and whom you teach out of your law,
	to give him rest from days of trouble,
		until a pit is dug for the wicked.
	For the LORD will not forsake his people;
		he will not abandon his heritage;
	for justice will return to the righteous,
		and all the upright in heart will follow it.
	Who rises up for me against the wicked?
		Who stands up for me against evildoers?
	If the LORD had not been my help,
		my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
	When I thought, “My foot slips,”
		your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
	When the cares of my heart are many,
		your consolations cheer my soul.
	Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
		those who frame injustice by statute?
	They band together against the life of the righteous
		and condemn the innocent to death.
	But the LORD has become my stronghold,
		and my God the rock of my refuge.
	He will bring back on them their iniquity
		and wipe them out for their wickedness;
		the LORD our God will wipe them out.

Josh Anderson

Author Josh Anderson

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