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A Parade of Horribles

An attorney friend of mine told me that lawyers use a term called, “Parade of Horribles.” If there’s one bad event, it’s usually in a long line of bad events. But like most parades, one or two floats tend to get everyone’s attention.

Over the past several months, our nation has witnessed a Parade of Horribles. What grabbed our national attention this past weekend was the mass shooting in a small Texas church that claimed the lives of 26 parishioners. But that was only one tragedy in this procession of sorrow.

We will never forget the 59 killed and more than 500 injured on October 1st when gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

On September 24th, a gunman carrying two pistols opened fire as Sunday services were ending at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, killing one person and wounding seven others.

Closer to home, those of us in the Indianapolis region will remember September 21st as the day four people were murdered, which pushed the city to its 100th criminal homicide of the year.

As people search for answers, political pundits, lobbyists, agencies, and even entertainers are quick to add their voices to the cacophony of opinions. Some believe the problem is not enough gun control. Others postulate the problem lies with the Republicans. Mental health experts advocate increased restrictions on individuals demonstrating psychological disorders.

Wherever you land on these proposed causes, the one cause you will probably never hear on the news is this: We live in a fallen, broken world that will only be restored through Jesus Christ.

Of course, you would expect a preacher to say that. But regardless of the source, the message is true. Until we address the issue of the human heart broken from sin and in need of redemption, we will never reduce violence and rediscover peace.

A heart void of love gets filled with hate. There is no such thing as a moral vacuum that remains empty. The human soul is always filled with something.

This same attorney friend who introduced me to the term Parade of Horribles reminded me that the way to overcome evil is through the power of good. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

That means that followers of Jesus should not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).

Our world is in short supply of the value of life and the promise of peace. It’s time for us to step up and start filling the void that too often gets flooded with hate and leads to death.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with