Someone asked me to comment on all that happened in Vegas, particularly as the “pastor” of Victory. This is from me the “human.” I really just took a day to pause and reflect. I wanted to know that my sister and brother in law were okay, which they are but some of their friends are not. I feel a deep sadness as we watch on loop a broken person breaking people and their families. We are reading first-hand accounts of those who were there. None of it makes sense. But crazy never makes sense. Crazy can’t be eradicated either. There’s the potential for crazy in all of us.
I don’t want to put words and verses up that don’t mean much for people whose lives will, from this day forward, be defined by tragedy without at least offering something with them. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” For those of you who know Jesus as an acquaintance, this is an invitation to crawl up in your dad’s lap and just cry out what you are feeling. And at the same time to hear words from someone who cries with you and knows what it means to be defined by a crazy senseless tragedy but also knows what it means to be defined by purposeful Victory. That’s where I go. Thanks to my dad Harvey Gerdes for showing me what this looks like a long time ago.
For those who are at a distance, keep praying. My prayer book this morning had these words for this day, “Where deed of mine can help to make this world a better place for men to live in, where word of mine can cheer a despondent heart or brace a weak will, where prayer of mine can serve the extension of Christ’s Kingdom, there let me do and speak and pray.” John Baillie, “A Diary of Private Prayer.
-Pastor Tim Gerdes
It’s never easy to pen a message after something so painfully awful as what has taken place in Las Vegas. It’s confusing and it doesn’t make sense. Logic and reason feel like foreign concepts and fear quickly creeps in; overwhelming any sense of normalcy we carry through our daily lives. The questions quickly outnumber the answers. And for us as humans, naturally desperate for understanding, that’s a struggle.
The words of man aren’t enough to mend the weary. They don’t change wrong to right and they don’t miraculously make evil irrelevant. There is no explanation that suddenly fixes what is so clearly broken. Simply put, there is nothing simple about the world we have created for ourselves. Because the world that we have created is man’s world. A world full of brokenness and sin. A world where doing the right thing makes you a good person instead of just a person.
But the world God created was not that. The world we were given was perfect. It was whole and it was right; absent of evil. Doing the right thing was the only thing. And now, the only thing stopping man’s world from being God’s world is us. Our imperfections. Our transgressions. Our brokenness. But in that brokenness, in those transgressions, and in those imperfections, exists a God that loves us still. A God that beckons us closer. A Father that longs deeply for his children to come home. And the best part is all we have to do is walk through the door.
The ministry here at Victory is merely a reflection of God’s purpose for us. Victory exists to provide solace to those that are broken, just as Christ did and called us to do. It goes without saying that this week has been emotional for many, none more so than those directly affected by the events that have taken place. We continue to pray for our broken world and offer support to those affected. Our doors will always be open to any and all that need a place to turn in dark times.