A week has gone by since the shooting in Aurora/ Denver Colorado and yet, I am still hurting. You see, I’ve spent the last week in Colorado… and the state and its people kind of grew on me.
I began to feel like the murders that occurred actually took place in my own backyard because when it comes down to it, I think Coloradans are my brothers and sisters too. And it still really hurts.
I came across a sermon from Nadia Bolz-Weber who is the pastor of The House for All– Sinners and Saints, a Lutheran congregation in Denver. She gave this stunning sermon two days after 12 people were killed in a theater. You can hear her sermon here.
She called the act “horrific, evil, senseless violence without a thread of anything redemptive about it.” And that despite the violence and fear, that it’s still always worth it to love God and to love people and always, always, it is worth it to sing “Alleluia.”
The night after the massacre, Nadia’s congregation gathered in a Denver bar to sing hymns to the Lord even as they were grieving. Amongst the singing, she heard a defiant tone in her congregation, a defiance that was the sound of a people who do not believe that violence wins. Their singing was an act of defiance against evil. Singing praises to God amidst violence and destruction. Putting evil in its place, saying it was here and it goes no further. That death and evil are not the final words. They sang alleluia.
If you listen to her sermon, the last seven minutes are of her congregation singing “Alleluia.” A group of Coloradans defiantly singing that evil does not win. Love does. God does.
It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve heard in a long time.