When the Church is the Church

by DanWolgemuth on September 29, 2006

The serenity of a small mountain community was replaced on Wednesday with the horror and fear of violence and uncertainty.  The town of Bailey, Colorado, which is located just west of Denver, was rocked by the invasion of a single gunman who marched into Platte Canyon High School and took six teenaged girls hostage. Four hours later, one of the young women and the gunman were dead. A short time after that there were names, faces, families, and informed pain.

Emily Keyes, a sixteen year-old student had her life snuffed out just before 4 PM on the 27th of September, but there are hundreds of other victims. Family, friends and classmates all moved into the fog of disbelief, reflection and fear.  A few girls gathered at the home of one of our national staff members who has a daughter that attends Platte Canyon.  As the community processed the pain they began to collect, to come together, to meet.  Many of them did that at Platte Canyon Community Church. Even Emily’s twin brother, Casey, was there.   There were more Kleenexes than Bibles, more hugs than hymnals, more questions than answers… but they came.  To a place where hope is shared.

When the church, is the Church… then the gates of hell itself cannot overpower it.  When the church, is the Church, it will be their tears that arrive on the scene first.  It will be their arms that embrace.   It will be their doors that are unlocked.  It will be their hearts that beat with compassion.  It will be their wallets that open.  It will be their kitchens that serve.  Their love that soothes.

Before the cross, comfort. Before grace, generosity.  Before hope, shared pain.  Before answers, friendship. Before Christ in them, Christ in us.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. ~ Romans  12:15

Through the pain in Bailey; the Church, the Body, the arms and legs of Jesus.

Before they know Jesus as the answer, they will see Him as a friend… in Bailey, Colorado.

… when the church, is the Church.

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