From ‘Dark Knight’ to bright morning: Denver minister revamps sermon in tragedy’s aftermath
Neal Pollard, minister for the Bear Valley Church of Christ in Denver, has delayed his originally planned sermon series on the home.
Instead, Pollard plans to preach Sunday on “Getting from ‘Dark Knight’ to Bright Morning” — a response to the midnight movie theater shooting rampage that left 12 dead and 58 wounded in nearby Aurora, Colo.
On his blog Friday, Pollard reflected on the massacre:
Our community is experiencing unspeakable grief. A young man became a hardened, merciless killer overnight in our city, killing at least a dozen and injuring several dozen more. Grief and confusion abound. People are struggling for answers.
It is transparently clear that this exemplifies a symptom of sin-sickness in society, but that observation will not bring back a single victim or undo this horrific crime. What we have right now is an opportunity to share with the fearful and hurting the God of all comfort.
Paul so describes Him in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. In those few verses alone, Paul uses the word comfort 10 times. Look at the different ways Paul assures us of God’s comfort, which will help us in traumatic circumstances like these.
Kevin Campbell, a nephew of two Bear Valley church families (the Sundines and the Bevilacquas), was in the theater when the attack occurred, Pollard said. Cayla Medek, 23, who died in the shooting, was Campbell’s girlfriend, the minister said.
Of Sunday’s sermon, Pollard said:
I’ll be preaching from Hebrews 6 about the hope we have in Christ, even in the worst times. It’s an appeal to hold on to Christ, no matter what. There are three points: 1. God’s Hope Will Keep Us Diligent (vs. 11). 2. God’s Hope Will Keep Us Focused (vs. 18). 3. God’s Hope Will Keep Us Grounded (vs. 19).
I’m still working on the sermon, and we’re still seeking ways to reach out to the community. I’ve asked members to spread the word about the special sermon, and we’re advertising it on the marquee. These are “come to us” measures, but as we’re on the other side of town that may be our best first move.
Everyone is certainly deeply affected by this, especially here in the shadow of the Columbine tragedy less than 15 years ago!
Minister feedback: Will you preach on Friday’s tragedy or otherwise reference it on Sunday? If so, what do you plan to say? Please include your home congregation, city and state in case we decide to quote you.