A little light can go a long way. And that’s something that you need to remember when you face the darkness of this world. That’s what you need to remember when you don’t know what to do. You need to remember that you may not be able to light up the whole world but you can light up the world around you.

In light of the mass shootings that have recently taken place in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma; many of us are trying to find ways to prevent the next mass shooting.

 

One way that you can work to prevent future mass shootings is by reaching out to your political representatives to let your voice be heard on issues related to preventing gun violence.

How do we live in a world that is filled with so much suffering? By living like Jesus did. We do it by joining others in their suffering. We do it by weeping with those who weep. We do it by offering a shoulder for others to cry on. We do it by holding their hands as they lay in hospital beds. We do it by crying out to God at their funerals. We do it by being there through every up and down. 

We don’t believe in a God who gives us things we have to bear. We don’t believe in a God who tests us by bringing difficult and painful things into our lives. Instead, we believe in a God that sustains us, walks with us, and cares for us when difficult and bad things happen during the course of life.

We can’t forget an unmistakable reality when it comes to God. We talked about it at the beginning of this sermon. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. So the truth in the statement “love the sinner, hate the sin” stops with the very first word. Love.

 

It’s our job to love. So let’s love our neighbor. Let’s love each other. And let’s extend the same grace to each other that God extends to us all.

We all interpret the Bible. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with interpreting the Bible. Because what the word interpret means is that we’re trying to understand something. And when we read the Bible, we should try to understand it.

 

But, we need to make sure that we are interpreting the Bible through the right lens. And, as Christians, the lens that we need to use when we are interpreting the Bible is Jesus.

Jesus helps those who cannot help themselves when he feeds the multitudes, calms the stormy seas,  and  lays down his life to forgive us of our sins.

We see this play out so many times not only in Jesus’ life  that we even have a word for it. When God helps someone who cannot help themself, we call it grace.

We say that “everything happens for a reason” as a way to try to make sense out of pain and suffering in the world around us. But we will never figure out why bad things happen to good people.

 

But here’s what we can understand. We can understand that God loves us and cares about us.

Easter is an event that shows how much God loves you.

 

Have you realized that yet? Have you realized that Easter shows how much God loves you? Have you realized how much you need God in your life? Have you been truly changed by this event…because it’s so much more than history, Easter is personal.

When we forgive we don’t forgive the action, we forgive the person.

Forgiving a person means that that person is still a person. And that person is still loved by God – even if we can’t bring ourselves to love them again.