Last night, my friend Dave asked me who was the best pre-Pentecost evangelist recorded in the Bible. That’s a pretty specific question, and you may not know the answer. I didn’t. I guessed Andrew, since he invited his brother Peter to meet Jesus and that turned out really well.
Dave’s answer was the Samaritan woman from John 4. After she had an astounding conversation with Jesus, she went back to her town and told them that they all had to meet this man. “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” Based on her testimony about him, they went to see him. They didn’t argue about Calvinism or substitutionary atonement or how long creation days. They met Jesus.
At church at City Pres last night, my friend Kristin shared about her experience during the May 20th tornados in Moore. She was a school counselor at Plaza Towers Elementary, and she was petrified as the storms bore down on her and her kids. When she huddled in the bathroom, she cried out to God that she wasn’t ready to die, she called her husband to tell him that she loved him and her boys. He told her he’d come find her and rescue her. She started praying the Lord’s Prayer over and over.
Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth at is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen.
God saved Kristin. He didn’t save all of the kids in that school that day, but he did save most. We grieve the losses, and marvel at those who were saved. Kristin pointed to the God Who Saves, and how he is bigger than anything she could ever handle.
So we cried. Brenden did. Amber did. I did. It’s really rather overwhelming to think about this story and the many others – lost jobs, lost careers, lost parents, lost pregnancies, lost marriages, lost faith.
But there are found ones. There are saved ones. There are redeemed and free ones. So we don’t grieve as ones who don’t have hope.
There’s a picture of Kristin and the others coming up out of the rubble, clinging to the Lord, looking for friends and family, and finding a community of the church the gospel the city. Arise my soul Arise. Shake off thy guilty fears. Come awake church. Where death is they sting? We’re children of the resurrected Christ and that is good news as we share our stories of faith and love and hope in the midst of the brewing and passing storms. We trace the rainbow through the rain.