Tragedy and Struggle in the City on a Hill
In the wake of the shooting in Aurora last night it can be difficult to get a nice, linear grasp on your thoughts and feelings. But as I’ve read what others have had to say and thought and prayed about it, one thing is gaining prominence in my mind–big things are happening in Denver.
Now I know that we feel the power of events that happen close to us more powerfully than those that are far from us. Geographical and relational proximity to tragedy makes it loom much larger. There are horrible things happening around the world and this one seems bigger than any others because it is in our backyard. That said, I think something powerful is happening here.
This shooting along with the memories of Columbine have caused some to wonder if there is a demonic stronghold in Denver. These horrific events are flash points for endemic struggle. There are other signs of great struggle between good and evil. Denver is a growing national hub for human trafficking. In the next few months human trafficking is expected to surpass drugs as the second most prominent crime in Jefferson County where Mountair (the church where I pastor) is located. (I’ll post sources for that as I have them. These comments come from a source connected to local government.) All crime and all sin is bad, but human trafficking is perhaps the most evil and destructive sin in the world. It requires a complete disregard for life.
On the less dramatic side, Denver is also known for being a Christian wasteland. It is the place church plants come to die. Approximately 10% of the population is even connected to any church. There is some spirituality in this city but most of it doesn’t have a lot to do with Jesus.
Yet in the midst of all this, the Spirit of God seems to being moving in some profound ways. There are many networks of churches springing up across the city for prayer and common efforts for the good of the community. City Unite lists some of these networks but more seem to be more popping up all the time. Many of these networks are seeing incredible success in partnering with schools and governments to work for the good of their cities. Old things that kept churches from working together are crumbling. There is a prayer movement called Pastors for Revival that is gaining traction. HeavenFest is connecting with tens of thousands and leading toward discipleship and prayer. Colorado is also close to becoming the first state to have no children waiting to be adopted, largely because of the church. There’s much more that could be listed, and one of the most amazing things is that much of this has been tried before but with little success. The rub is that there is a movement of unity, prayer, ministry to the outcast, and life happening in Denver.
And so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the attacks of the Evil One will intensify. He will try with all he has to destroy the good work God is doing. The best news is he doesn’t have the power to overcome the work of God.
I pray that the God who works within all things for good (even when those things themselves are evil) will take the work of the devil, turn it on its head, and bring his kingdom to Denver in greater ways than we’ve seen yet. Let your kingdom come Lord Jesus.