Summary: This is a response to the Virginia Tech murders. It examines our response as Christians and as responsible firearm owners. It also questions what we can do to be part of the solution. Although it is a manuscript, there is a lot to be ad-libbed in this.

John 21:1-19

Paonia United Methodist Church

April 22, 2007

Its been another one of those weeks for this country, hasn’t it?

You would have to be a complete alien to have missed it.

Another deranged wannabe gangster walks into a college campus

and starts gunning down kids sitting at their desks.

He now holds the record…

Until… next time?

The media can’t play enough of it…

It gets good ratings and it helps to get the next lunatic

Prepared for their spot in the sunlight.

It works the same way that terror attacks do.

The more you attention you feed it,

The more it wants and the more it grows.

Now, let me ask you a question…

And be honest…

Were any of you as shocked and a horrified this time

As you were with Columbine 8 years ago?

You know, the sad thing is, in many ways, I have grown numb to it.

Few things shock me anymore.

The DOW hovering around 13000 is more shocking to me than

The VT killings.

Now to be fair to myself, I was also running a 102 degree fever and was

Heavily medicated recovering from surgery. But even then I could hear the politicians and the

Lawyers plotting and scheming on how best to use the carnage

For their election campaigns and getting rich.

So, have I just become completely jaded?

Or is this just a part of the new normal?

Ever feel like the whole planet has gone completely nuts?

I gave you that message the last time some nut went in and shot up

An Amish schoolhouse.

Even though I had some people not very happy with me, my theory hasn’t changed a bit.

Systems are designed for the results they are getting.

We are creating a society of sociopathic killers who are

Only acting out their nature.

The video he thoughtfully sent to NBC to be replayed endlessly to the public

Shows you that clearly enough.

And the bleeding hearts are already pointing out that he was picked

On school.


I was called Marty Farty for 18 years.

Changed my name to John my sophomore year of college after

An Emmaus walk.

I had an older brother whose mission in life was to torture

Me every chance he got.

Every kid gets picked on.

That’s life.

Closest thing that I ever had to going on a shooting spree involved

my bb gun, my graduation day, and my grandparents new Cadillac.

That was one tough car!

The Caddy won that fight and thankfully I was never discovered.

That’s what dumb and dangerous looked like 20 years ago.

Something else has changed.

And I have given you that sermon…

That sermon about our culture no longer valuing life…

And I am not changing a word of it

Because that is the message being heard loud and clear by today’s youth

Both here in America and abroad.

Its primarily in our music, the graphicness of our video games, the coarsening of

Television and the media, and the inability for some people to make the

Distinction between what is real and what is fantasy.

But you have heard that sermon.

This morning, I don’t know about you, but I need something else.

Even as I sat and wrote this sermon I needed something more

Than the constant doom and gloom of the world we live in.

Some problems we face have answers… some don’t.

Dealing with evil is the problem this planet has faced

Since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden.

And, when we arrive at the moments when we don’t know what to do or think,

What do we do?

Most people turn back to the things that they know.

Time for a little reality check.

Did you notice what today was when you looked at your bulletin?

See where it says Easter 3c?

That is what we are supposed to be celebrating right now.

Does this feel like Easter to you?

Or do you feel like you are sitting in a funeral right now?

You know, if this feels more like a funeral than an Easter celebration,

You might just be at the right place this morning after all.

Let’s all take a deep breath,

And get back to what we all came here this morning for.

Moving back to our biblical story…

The apostles had lived through their worst horror.

They had watched the person they loved and adored brutally

And senselessly murdered…

Take a moment to meditate on the events of Good Friday.

The betrayal… the flogging… the humiliation… being crucified to a tree…


And then Easter came.

There was an empty tomb.

There was that time of Rapture and excitement.

And then he appeared in a room with the others and showed

That he was very much alive.

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