darkness evil

Evil Won't Have the Last Word

10:03 PMHeather

I saw the images today of the painted and empty church in Sutherland Springs. 

I saw the stark white room and the cross.

I saw the roses and the 26 chairs.

I saw the names of each person who lost their life.

And I thought about how bright and clean the little church building appeared. Such a contrast to the darkness that came just days ago.

I was overcome with what I saw.

Because evil didn't have the last word.

Evil may have entered. And evil may have been unleashed.

But evil didn't win.

Evil is being shushed with the voices of a community who may have been brought to their knees, yet they are rising up.

I see that church painted and repaired, and I see a standing memorial that is an act of defiance. It says yes, evil came here.

But evil won't win.

This is who the Church is. This is who we've been since the beginning. Because we are seeking to follow in the footsteps of our Savior who dared to enter the darkness himself so that we could find the Light.

We may be wrecked and ruined and torn apart, but we will rise up in the name of Jesus. 

Evil often thinks it won.

Evil thought it won that day, some 2000 years ago. As a carpenter turned preacher hung on a cross and breathed his last.

Evil thought it won that day as the serpent struck his heel.

Evil thought it won when it placed guards around a borrowed tomb to keep away grave robbers.

Evil thought it won as three days passed. 

Evil thought it won as men and women wept and cried and mourned the One they thought would bring victory.

Evil thought it won as darkness came and the earth shook under the weight of the loss.

Evil thought it won that day.

Just as evil might have thought it was winning in a tiny town in Texas.

But evil doesn't have the final say.

Because the One who is Faithful and True crushed the head of the serpent.

Because no power on earth could stop the One who robbed us of our guilt and shame.

Because though days may come that are earth shattering and rip the very fabric of our lives apart, there is a greater story that holds the source of unshakable hope.

Because though weeping comes for a night, joy comes in the morning.

Because though sometimes our minds and heart cannot bear what comes against us, greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world.

Because the One whom they killed and buried could not be held by death and the grave.

Because the Only Son of God came and died and rose again.

And he's coming back.

He's coming back to split the sky wide open and shake the ground again.

To usher in an eternity where every tear is wiped away.

Because what is seen and felt and very real in the here-and-now will be overshadowed by the glorious not-yet.

Evil won't win.

Evil bursts through church doors.

Evil stirs up hatred and wars and unrest.

Evil seems to invade our lives with unexpected news that shocks us to our cores. It tries to steal our hope and kill our faith and destroy our very lives.

And we say to evil -- you won't win.

What is broken and ripped apart and dark shall one day become whole again. 

All that is wrong will be made right. 

Though now we see dimly, then we will see clearly.

And the sufferings of this present world will not -- indeed, they cannot -- compare to the glory to come.

Today, we weep and mourn and remember. 

Today, we wrestle to stand on the promises that we know are true in our heads, even while our hearts feel crushed.

Today, we fall at the feet of Jesus, just like Mary. Outside the grave of what has died in our lives and what has been taken from us, we fall to our knees.

And we cry and sob and lament.

But we must, in the face of such despair, we must not stop there.

We must consider Jesus.

We must intentionally turn our eyes to the One who sits at the right hand of God the Father.

As we turn our faces from the sorrow and pain, we look up in the face of a Savior who weeps with us.

In our sackcloth and ashes, we stare down evil... we stare down the circumstance... and we say.

We are children of the Lord God Almighty.

And we know how this ends.

Evil won't win. 

The battle belongs to the Lord. And he is the Victorious One.

Evil won't have the last word.

For Jesus said, it is finished.

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