Sharon's Blog

Love Wins

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Our hearts are broken once again – this time by the hateful violence at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando:

  • to those who lost loved ones –may you be surrounded with love in your grief and loss;
  • to the injured and your families, may you know healing and hope;
  • to the brave first responders and caregivers – as you face the memories of what you witnessed, may you find peace of mind;
  • to LGBTQ neighbors – beloved of God – to families, allies and friends –may you find courage and hope in the knowledge of our love.
  • To Muslim neighbors and friends – we know that such violence does not represent who you are any more than the actions of extremist Christians represent who we are. We stand together.

Sadly, today we also remember the first anniversary of the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. We continue to mourn with families and communities still grieving over that awful day.

We think about the many – too many –  mass shootings of this past decade alone – Virginia Tech, Ft. Hood, Aurora, Sandy Hook, San Bernadino, Charleston and now Orlando. In this confluence of many social and international currents, the search for policies and processes to help prevent these acts will be complex. But it must begin with a rejection of hate and violence.

Through it all, this is the time to reach out to each other – as secular communities and communities of faith – as one human family knit together by God who loves us. Let us take action, in ways small and large, to show that love is stronger than hate. Love wins.

13 Responses to “Love Wins”

  1. Beth Hilgeman:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. This is why I am proud to be a Disciple of Christ!

  2. Linda Shively:

    So proud to be a Disciples of Christ member. It is so sad when people pick and choose who it is okay to love. God loves us every one. Why oh why can’t we at least try! I hate that my sweet grandchildren are growing up hearing this kind of news and the aftermath hatred over and over. Oh, wait. I forgot. My five-year old grandson reminded me the other day that it is bad to say “hate”. Bless the little children of the world!

  3. Rossy Ricart:

    Thank you Sharon! You always have the exact needed words! May the Lord help us to find peace and tolerance!

  4. Amy Taylor:

    *to those who suffer silently with mental illness, may they find comfort and healing. Let God work within the lives of their family and friends to find the support, understanding, and encouragement for the treatment they so desparately need.

  5. Glen Miles:

    Thank you, Sharon.

  6. Diane Stein:

    Thanks, Sharon! I hope this will be shared with many congregations on Sunday. You have said what was in all our hearts.

  7. Jesse Strong:

    Thank you for sharing 1st Christian Church love and support for the people and families of these people that are usually judged harshly by the Christian faith. God’s grace is for all of us.

  8. Cheri Heeren:

    I am so grateful to have been baptized into this denomination in the mid 1950’s when I was in grade school and to see the stance the Disciples Church takes today on issues like these! I was always taught that God is about love, not hate, and that He loves and cares for each one of us…no matter what! “Love one another, even as I have loved you” still reverberates in my head when I think back to my early days at First Christian Church in Lee’s Summit, MO. Thank you for your beautiful words, Sharon!

  9. Beth Cook Sweeney:

    When my Dad, Rev. Robert L Cook, died in 2006, I smiled (continue to this day) because he is in heaven with God, our Father. When his very close friend died a few years later, my minds eye saw my Dad welcome Paul Russom with open arms & a “Welcome to heaven, Paul.” And I smile again.
    After this tragedy, my mind’s eye sees all those who are dead wrapping their arms around the shooter to love him in heaven with our Father, God. “Love wins.”

  10. John Bennett:

    Thanks , Sharon, for witnessing to who we are as “‘movement for wholeness in a fragmented world”

  11. John:

    Lovely words, truly. Please forgive, but I hope an additional perspective is welcome here.

    The word “love” is culturally flexible to include both virtue and vice, is it not? A person may “love” old hymns but may also “love” another person’s spouse; may “love” poetry but may also “love” pornography; may “love” the underprivileged but may also “love” to overeat.

    In the face of the Orlando tragedy, is it possible we must acknowledge: God is love, but love is not God. In the person of Christ, God reveals Himself to be the very embodiment of the love as described in the most famous chapter on the subject: I Corinthians 13. But love is not God. In our fallen humanity, we may “love” gossip or gambling or getting our own way; we may “love” pleasure or privilege or the praise of others; we may “love” over-eating, over-spending, or over-computing; and the currently-popular cultural slogan “Love Wins” – again, please forgive – is meant to gain approval for any number of sexual arrangements by hiding them behind the inarguable virtue of “love.” Can we say that God favors any of these just because there may be “love” involved?

    I’m struggling with these matters, as are many. Perhaps we owe it to ourselves – and to our children – to know, and to be able to articulate, that God is love, some love is of God, and some love is not of God.

    • Susan:

      Thank you for your response. I feel much the same way and struggle with how our denomination stands on these “love” issues. I truly want to love everyone but are we sharing the truth? I am active in my church but feel like the hypocrite among my brothers and sisters many times. Thinking strongly about searching for a non denominational church. I covet only your prayers, Susan

  12. Thank you for this article.
    It is because of the love of Christ Jesus for me, that I am able to walk in love. Everyday, I am finding ways to spread God’ s love without judging and following after peace with all men.