When Tragedy Strikes

About This Bin

Yesterday's bombings at the Boston Mararthon bring grief to many and revive perennial questions of "why?" These articles offer insights to help you and your congregation in the wake of tragedy.

  1. Introduction

    library Introduction

    THE SONG OF SONGS INTRODUCTION, COMMENTARY, AND REFLECTIONS BY RENITA J. WEEMS THE SONG OF SONGS INTRODUCTION T he content of Song of Songs, sometimes referred to as the …

  2. They Call It Heartbreak Hill

    Articles They Call It Heartbreak Hill

    They call it Heartbreak Hill. It rises between the twentieth and twenty-first miles of the route of the Boston Marathon. It’s not much of a hill, unless you’ve been…

  3. Talking to Children Following the Boston Marathon Bombing...And Listening!

    Articles Talking to Children Following the Boston Marathon Bombing...And Listening!

    Here we are again at a place where we need to reassure children that they are safe even when we may not feel safe ourselves. Shock, fear, anxiety, anger, and confusion are normal, …

  4. Evil Doesn't Win

    Articles Evil Doesn't Win

    April 16 is not my favorite day of the year. This is the day that I remember the power of evil and sin to destroy lives. And it’s the day that reminds me that in the…

  5. Bombing at the Boston Marathon

    Articles Bombing at the Boston Marathon

    The tragedy in Boston, Massachusetts, seems so near to me this morning. My daughter went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and we have many good memories of the city. We now…

  6. Offering Christ in a Culture of Fear

    Articles Offering Christ in a Culture of Fear

    Terror and tragedy gripped the churchgoing population of Knoxville, Tennessee and rippled across the country on July 27, 2008 as reports spread of a violent shotgun attack at a…

  7. A Good Friday Orientation: Preaching in the Aftermath of Tragedy

    Articles A Good Friday Orientation: Preaching in the Aftermath of Tragedy

    On April 16, 2007, thirty-three lives were violently lost on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where as I serve as a United Methodist pastor. That Monday was…

  8. Ministering to People in Crisis: Don't Just Stand There!

    Articles Ministering to People in Crisis: Don't Just Stand There!

    What do you say or do when people's lives are falling apart? Feeling put on the spot may be uncomfortable, but as clergy and leaders, it is our role to have words and actions…

  9. When We Can Only Ask 'Why?'

    Articles When We Can Only Ask 'Why?'

    The images of devastation coming to us from Japan raise once again the question of why. Why would a just and loving God allow–or worse yet, cause–such human suffering? …

  10. National Tragedies and Spiritual Truths

    Articles National Tragedies and Spiritual Truths

    A month ago my wife and I were in New York City and went to the World Trade Center site. Standing there and contemplating what happened made the hair on my neck and arms stand up. …

  11. Sermon: The Practice of Forgiveness

    Articles Sermon: The Practice of Forgiveness

    Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35 I once heard a conversation in which two individuals, one who had been assaulted and raped and the other who had been wrongly accused and convicted of …

  12. Grace in Grief

    Blog Grace in Grief

    Last month two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a sudden, horrible 15-car crash during the IZOD IndyCar World Championships at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway…

  13. The Divine Speeches: Evil and Suffering in Job

    Articles The Divine Speeches: Evil and Suffering in Job

    Job's dialogue with God (Job 38:1-42:6) stands as one of Scripture's most vivid depictions of the struggle to understand and respond to suffering and evil. In this excerpt from…

  14. God and the Tornadoes

    Articles God and the Tornadoes

    The devastation left in the wake of last Wednesday night’s tornadoes is mind numbing. Mile after mile of homes, businesses, and schools obliterated; over 340 men, women and…

  15. Love and Suffering

    Articles Love and Suffering

    Even for people familiar with the destruction tornados can inflict, the images from Joplin, Missouri, were horrific. Wide swaths of the city with a population of 50,000 were…

  16. Does God Hate Joplin?

    Blog Does God Hate Joplin?

    Does God hate Joplin? Maybe the whole of Missouri, or the USA, or perhaps the whole world?  There have been earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, volcanoes erupting in Iceland…

  17. Worship for Communities in Crisis

    Articles Worship for Communities in Crisis

    Early one morning I was awakened at sunrise by someone pounding on my door. I was at the Methodist Seminary in San Jose, Costa Rica, on a mission trip, and I expected this day…

  18. Choosing to Respond with Love

    Articles Choosing to Respond with Love

    One does not have to look any further than the events of the day to conclude that there is evil in the world. Evil's influence and hand are seen every day in terrorist attacks, in …