Lord, Have Mercy

As details continue to unfold about last Friday’s devastating elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, we ask questions about why something like this happens. Sometimes we have no words in the face of such tragedies and can only offer up our prayers for the victims, survivors, their families, and the perpetrators of such terrible acts. It’s violent. It’s disturbing. It’s sad. And our only answer may be prayer. Last Thursday, Busted Halo’s Michael O’Loughlin wrote about gun violence in the United States and how our silence on issues related to gun control — a life issue, O’Loughlin points out — might lead to more violence: “But during this season of Advent, when Christians see in the words of Isaiah a peace so immense that “the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,” we continue to find ourselves as a people soaked in violence and anger with apparently little resolve to confront this sad truth. So in addition to our prayers for victims of violence, we should use this time to consider how we might witness to the Gospel and take a stand against a culture that makes obtaining guns, and using them for evil, so easy.”

Share O’Loughlin’s article with young adults. Here are some discussion questions for a week when our hearts our heavy at the news of such tragedy:

  • What was your reaction to the Connecticut school shooting? How do you feel?
  • Do you agree or disagree with Michael O’Loughlin’s suggestions about speaking out against a violent gun culture?
  • How do you feel called to respond to the Connecticut school shooting? What meaningful action might you take?
  • As you finish your discussion, ask young adults to share their prayer concerns and pray together.