The tragedy at New Town, CT is a ministry opportunity for the church to minister to its extended community. Only the church can address the issues of life and death from a christian perspective.
You might consider opening the doors of your church tomorrow or Sunday evening for a community meeting where people can voice their fears and concerns and express their heart-felt emotions. Then take a few minutes to teach them what the Bible says about the issue.
What to teach:
2. Evil entered this realm and death resulted.
3. The world is a chaotic and potentially dangerous place.
4. Jesus himself experienced a violent death.
5. God raised Jesus from the grave, breaking death's power.
6. All who die in Christ will likewise be raised and God's kingdom established on earth. This is the believer's hope.
7. Until then evil continues to stalk earth and seeks to motivate people to kill and live destructively. Hence, the massacre.
8. The church is called to minister to those who fear death and to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, calling people to Christ.
* Note: Talk about heaven is not especially helpful, since it carries the idea that salvation is nothing more than the soul's release from the body--a concept more in line with Greek philosophy than the Bible. This ultimately, if not immediately, leads to theological confusion rather than to clarity.
In light of the tragedy, many in your community will be offering advice. Won't you stand up and speak on behalf of God?