Confronting Evil in the Life Where Faith Matters

“For the whole creation groans in eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” Romans 8:19

Dear People of St. David’s,

I pray that you and yours are well. I pray also that you have or will take the time to reach out to your family and those you know and love, to make sure they’re all right. The news of the most recent mass murder at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on the heels of the mass murders in Buffalo, the church in California, and the other 200 plus mass killings in our nation just this year, breaks my heart.

I can’t imagine the pain of parents wanting to touch and be with their loved ones who have been killed, though I do know the pain of a sister murdered senselessly. I mourn for the families and for the loss of life and potential that have been taken away in such a deplorable manner. It always hurts to lose a loved one and even more so when our loved ones are taken away instantly and violently.

While I will not tell you what to think or what to do in response to these tragedies and other evils in the world and in our individual lives, I will remind all of us of the call we have accepted to renounce evil and to work against evil in all its forms as individuals and as a community. Among the promises we have made at our baptisms, and that we renew every time we baptize a person into the life of faith as a Christian, are three renunciations. Here they are as written in our Book of Common Prayer:

Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?

We do.

God has called us and commissioned us to renounce, refute, and work against the forces of evil in all its forms as part of this life of faith. We have been blessed by God’s grace and forgiveness, God’s presence and promise. We have also been called and empowered by God to share our faith in our daily lives. That sharing includes working for God’s purposes of love, life, community, and safety for all and against anything and anyone that is in opposition to God’s vision for God’s world. It’s part of the life of faith. Though none of us has the power to refute the evil in this world on our own, and certainly not all at once, we do have the power of God at work in us so that we can do that next right thing to stand against evil in our world and to ask God to root it out of our own lives as well.

St. Paul wrote that the “whole creation groans in eager longing for the revealing of the children of God”, the children who are living the life of faith and working in ways great and small to assist God in God’s work to restore everything to God. We are those children.

So, we mourn and we lament and we lift up the families and communities affected by any evil. May we also have the courage to pray that God will show us our part in renouncing evil even as we invite God to empower us to be God’s change in the world. Now is the time.

Grace and Peace,
The Rev. W. Frank Allen, Rector