As you may have heard in the local news, a man was murdered outside the Burger King near the Midland Mall this week.  Is this an anomaly, or is this to be expected in today’s world?  Are we comfortable thinking this kind of thing happens in Saginaw but not in Midland?  Should we avoid that restaurant for the time being for our own safety, or should we continue going about our everyday lives?

It surely is tragic when one person takes another person’s life.  The ramifications of such an action are very broad, affecting more than just the two people involved.  In this case, there are two school-aged children who will grow up with their mother in prison.  The Burger King employees who were present at the time will remember this event forever.  Lives are changed tremendously when one person kills another.

What should our response be as Christians who live in this community?  I believe situations like this are opportunities for us to serve as community leaders who bring order, meaning, comfort, and peace to those affected by tragedy.  As ambassadors for Christ, we can share the blessings of a relationship with the Lord with those who are hurting.  In the next few weeks, if you find yourself near the Midland Mall around lunchtime or dinnertime, I encourage you to eat at the Burger King and say something encouraging or compassionate to the people who are working there.  If you hear someone talking about this story in the grocery store, strike up a conversation and be an agent of peace and reconciliation.

Remember that most murders involve people who know each other; random acts of violence are much less common.  We do not need to fear other people in our town because a murder has taken place in a public location.  On the contrary, this event is more reason for us to be involved in community, to bring the message of forgiveness and salvation and healing through Christ to a world that is desperately in need.

Friends, remember that we belong to the Lord and that this life is fleeting – especially when compared to the eternal relationship with the Lord which is promised to us who believe in him.  Do not be afraid; use every opportunity to draw closer to the Lord and to help others to do the same.

–Pastor David

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