On 03 August 2019, two crazed gunmen killed a combined total of nearly 30 people in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. The largest loss of life was at an El Paso Walmart, where the gunman murdered 20 people. The killer posted an insane manifesto shortly before the attack characterized by white nationalism. He railed against Hispanics, and apparently believed they were part of an orchestrated plot to destroy “American values.” The Washington Post explained:
The manifesto appeared to be written as a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas” with denunciations of “race mixers” and “haters of our collective values.”
The depth of evil inherent in these domestic terrorist attacks can only be explained and solved by the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Christian worldview alone explains how we got here, how and why everything went wrong, and why we’re such wicked and immoral people. The Gospel explains the world the way it is. It explains us the way we are.
More than that, it gives us hope.
It gives us hope that there is such a thing as justice; that there will be a time when the wicked will be punished, and God’s adopted children will be rewarded. It promises us citizenship in a new earth, in a new creation, where everything wrong will be made right. No matter what we see happen here, we know there is a God who will judge right. Solomon wrote, a long time ago (Ecc 8:12-13),
Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
Recently, some people from the congregation asked me when imprecatory prayers were ever appropriate. Now is one of those times. Here is my pastoral prayer from this morning. It’s an imprecatory prayer, and it’s entirely appropriate:
We know you execute judgment rightly; pulling down some and lifting up others.
We know your people in all ages have wondered why you allow evil in this world, even as we trust your purposes and providence in all things.
We know that in your hand there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and that you’ll pour out from it, and all the wicked of the earth will drain it down to the dregs.
We know you are to be feared, and no one can stand before you when your anger is roused.
So, Lord, we ask you to pursue and terrify these men who have done such unspeakable evil – to fill their faces with shame, so that they might seek your name, O Lord.
More than that, Lord, we ask you to bring swift and terrible justice upon these two men. Terrify them with your wrath. Frighten them because of their awful crimes. Crush them with the weight of their cruelty and evil. Smash them with the consequences of their sins.
We pray for justice to be done, and we know it will. We pray for terrible judgement for these men.
We pray you’ll comfort the victims and the families with the Gospel, and the peace, forgiveness and reconciliation that passes all understanding. We ask you to enable, fill and lead our Christian brothers and sisters in El Paso and Dayton to speak the truth of the Gospel into people’s lives.
We ask you, through your Holy Spirit, to lead people to turn to the Gospel as the only explanation and solution for this terrible evil. Let us not turn to political talking points or catchy soundbites, from the right or left side of the political aisle. Change hearts, and turn your people to the Gospel.
 Annie Gowen, Mark Berman, Tim Craig and Hannah Natanson, “El Paso shooting suspect could face federal hate crime charges,” in Washington Post, 04 August 2019. Retrieved from https://wapo.st/2YFUUeD.
 I composed this prayer, in part, from excerpts from Psalms 75, 76 and 83.