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bulletholeThen Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into it’s place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52 NASB)

I’m vacillating between raging anger and shattered sadness right now. Just a little bit earlier this afternoon, the United States Senate voted down 4 different gun control bills that had come up in response to the mass shooting in Orlando two weekends ago. I had planned to post something else this afternoon, but this has just consumed my spirit. How many more people have to die before we even take a single step to try to interrupt this cycle of violence? Jesus makes it plain in the verse above that those who abide in violence will reap violence, and that’s exactly what is happening.

Unfortunately, many innocent people are paying for this attitude with their lives. I don’t want to really deal with politics here in this post, but I want to remember them. Below are pictures of victims from 5 of our most heinous shootings, including Orlando. Please take a moment to look at each of their faces and ponder how their lives were snatched away from them. Then, please take a minute and say a prayer for their families and for our country. If you are then so moved, contact your elected representatives and candidates and tell them how you feel about this.

Orlando Victims:

Sandy Hook Victims:

Umpqua Community College Victims:

Charleston Shooting Victims:

Aurora Shooting Victims:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)