How to Protect Yourself from Evil

In the aftermath of the bombing in Boston, we’re all feeling a renewed sense of vulnerability. Unlike the September 11th attacks, this one was perpetrated by men who lived, worked, studied, worshipped, and played among us. As many TV commentators have noted, this fact increases the impact of their terror. Not only do we feel terrorized but also shocked and betrayed.

The question is, How do we manage our heightened sense of vulnerability? Is it enough to rely on the government to protect us? I don’t think so. This Sunday we’ll explore an approach to the problem of evil and its devastating effects that the media is not equipped to address.

This approach comes from the heart of our Christian faith. If we are students of the Bible and of human nature, we’ll be much less shocked than the average person when we’re confronted with incomprehensible evil. But there’s always more that we can learn on this subject, and the more we know, the more meaningful our faith becomes to us, and the more we find in it a place of refuge, replenishment, inspiration, and challenge for our souls.

This Sunday, I invite you to ask and answer three critical questions with me: How does evil operate? Where and when are we most vulnerable? And what is the only way we can really protect ourselves?

I have been wrestling with these questions all week in light of Jesus’ description of himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10. He realistically portrays the world as a place where thieves and wolves seek to destroy his children, but in the midst of such a threatening environment, he invites us to enter his fold and continually renew our trust that he will guide us into pastures accessible only to him. In these pastures he offers us abundant life and assures us that we can receive it, even in the midst of a world where unimaginable evil is possible.

With love and warmth,