From the pulpit: Community life strengthens spirit

In the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, I &045;&045; and I suspect many others &045;&045; experienced many different emotions.

First was horror and shock at the news of students and professors being killed for no apparent reason. Then I experienced anger, not over the gunman, but at the media pundits for pointing blame at the school and the police for the decisions that were made just a few hours prior.

Then I experienced assurance and hope as the Virginia Tech community started to come together in planned and unplanned events to support one another; to offer prayers for one another and to make the commitment to not let this horrible and despicable event sway them from their mission.

I can&8217;t help but believe that for the majority of the Virginia Tech community, the actions that were conducted in the aftermath came out of the belief system that the church offers.

As the church, we are a community of believers that are bonded together in our common belief in a risen Lord. Because of our common belief in Jesus Christ, when one hurts, we all hurt. On the other hand, when one experiences joy, we all celebrate.

God created us to live in community. We were not designed to be alone.

The gunman at Virginia Tech, according to news reports, lived alone. He walked around others, went to class with others, but did not share with others.

When we are alone, we become vulnerable. We become separated.

I am confident that when we allow others to share our hurts, our weaknesses, even our failures, we are able to be restored to wholeness.

We can&8217;t do it alone!

Make a commitment to live in a community of faith.

Bill Brown is pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Montevallo.