No doubt you have all been sucking in the news reports over the last two days regarding the tragic shootings at New Life Church and at YWAM in Arvada. I have as well. I wrote a letter to the senior pastor of New Life Church, expressing our sympathy and prayers. In that letter, I mentioned a text which has been on my mind in regard to this situation. It is Romans 15:8-13, a text which seems particularly apropos in this Christmas season. The apostle quotes Isaiah saying, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope." And then the apostle closes with this prayer: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
The root of Jesse is the answer to such devastating sinfulness. Through his salvation and his judgment, he will bring the day when "they shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isa 11:9).