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Pastor's Notes

Dear Friends,
This week, another tragedy took place. This time a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas. At least 59 killed. More than 500 injured. I’m heartbroken.
In the face of this horrible tragedy, few words can be said. Whether you’re religious or not, when you don’t know what else to say, so often the words that come out are: “My thoughts and prayers are with you.”
We post it online and others do the same.
A question I confess I’ve asked is this: “Do my thoughts and prayers really matter?”
Do they matter when hundreds are waking up with the news that their loved one has been killed by a shooter? When hurricanes destroy entire islands? As earthquakes devastate the lives of thousands?
Honestly?  Yes.  Our thoughts and prayers do matter when the unimaginable happens, when your world falls apart, and here’s why.
Thinking about someone else shows you care.
Ever had someone say they’re thinking about you? It’s comforting, right? You feel cared for, loved, known, reassured.
Letting someone know you’re thinking about them, especially during tragedy, assures them that they’re on your mind. Their pain is being felt. Their grief shared.
Thinking about someone is a reminder that they’re not alone.  When we make the effort to direct our thoughts toward others, we’re showing them we care about what’s going on in their life.
Thoughts show you care, and our thoughts should lead us to  action.                                                       

Prayers for someone else encourage and comfort.
 In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians tells us to “encourage one another.” More literally, this can be translated as “comfort” or “strengthen” one another.
This same word—encourage—can also be translated as “pray.”
Encourage and pray for your friend.
Comfort and pray for your coworker.
Strengthen and pray for fellow humans experiencing the unimaginable.
I’m beginning to realize that there is no greater gift that I can receive from friends, family, and even complete strangers than their prayers for me.
As followers of Christ, prayer is our direct connection to God. Our way to talk to the Lord about anything and everything.
When others are hurting, prayer allows us to talk to God on their behalf. We can pray that they would be unexplainably comforted in tragedy. We can pray they wouldn’t feel alone in their grief. We can pray they will feel supernaturally strengthened.
In the face of horrible circumstances is there anything more powerful we can do for each other than pray?
Prayers encourage and comfort.
And prayer should move us to action. If there’s anything that we can tangibly do. We should do it!
Hundreds of people whose lives were normal yesterday have been shaken by the events in Las Vegas. Normal seems a world away. Right now your thoughts and prayers do matter. More than ever.
People of Las Vegas, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
In the Master’s service,    Steve               (Printed with thanks to Adam Weber)