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Tragedy in Boston: Roundup of Reactions from Pastors in the Area

This week, many were jolted to the reality of terrorism once again. As I wrote the day it happened, “This marathon tragedy drives us again to our Maranatha cry: ‘Come quickly, Lord’ and set things right.” It is a reminder of the world’s brokenness.

Let me encourage you to also read Christianity Today’sPastors Respond” and the Christian Post’sChristian Leaders Grieve.”

A few Boston pastors shared their thoughts and prayers on their blogs and sent them to me via Twitter. (If you are in the Boston area, you can do so in the comments or via Twitter.) I’ve posted a few here and will add others as I receive them.

A Prayer for Boston in Light of Today’s Tragedy by Brandon Levering.

Brandon is Lead Pastor at Westgate Church affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church in Weston, Massachusetts.

Today, we’re faced with the painful reminder that we still live in a fallen world.

Today, the earth gave way as an explosion tore apart the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Yet this was no natural chaos; this was an act of evil, intent on wounding and terrorizing the people of this city and her guests, while the rest of the world was watching.

We call it “terrorism” because that is what it seeks to do—strike terror and fear into our hearts. God, we confess, sometimes it works. We are afraid. We fear for our safety. We fear losing our loved ones. We fear the loss of life as we know it.

Yet there is one thing on earth that no bomb can shake, and no terror can overcome: Your presence. “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Because you are with your people, we need not be afraid. Though the waters roar and the nations rage, you are a refuge and fortress to your people. Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, those who take shelter in your presence will not be moved. Though this world may take away from us everything we hold precious, even our lives, it cannot take us away from you. You are our refuge and strength, our very present help in trouble.

As our city quakes from the effects of sin in this world—the evil, the violence, the injuries and loss of life, we pray that your holy and healing presence would be made known.

A Terrible Day in Boston by Nick Fatato.

Nick is the pastor of Common Church in Boston, and is affiliated with the Assemblies of God.

We are all affected by the bombs that went off today in our city. Boston and the Boston Marathon will never be the same. People lost their lives and many people where injured. This day will be marked as a terrible day.

My wife Gina and son Alexander were only a block away and felt the blast. I was out of town and raced back to our apartment just a few blocks from the bomb sites. I was grateful when my family was all gathered in our home.

We need to pray for our city and those deeply effected by this event. God can bring peace in the midst of tragedy. That is our prayer.

We will no doubt be asked and ask ourselves, why did this happen? Why are so many innocent people suffering? These questions don’t always have answers. We need to remember God is with us, with those who suffer, with those who are innocent. God is our strength and when there is great insecurity, God is secure.

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Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week for bible story. His national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates. He serves as interim teaching pastor of Calvary Church in New York City and serves as teaching pastor at Highpoint Church.