Advance 2020 #03

One of the most daunting and troubling issues that has surfaced in recent months and years is the prevalence in our culture of suicide, especially among our younger population. Suicide has always been with us as an issue though one that is marginalized and seldom discussed, especially in church settings.

A couple of years ago, Rick Warren, popular pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life, experienced the painful loss of his adult son, Matthew, to suicide. Matthew’s death followed months of agonizing mental and emotional issues that had intensified to the point that he could no longer see going forward. He ended his life tragically while still in his twenties.

Recently a young man in our community, a high school senior, took his life with virtually little or no warning signs that he was going to do this. It is rampant, and families and surviving members of the household of these kinds of tragic deaths are crying out for help. Where do they go to find understanding, wholeness and hope?

Our responsibility toward this issue as a church, I believe, is great. Many who take their lives have simply lost their hope. We have hope to share. While some among us have walked the dark valley of depression, there is still not much said or done to address this chronic and enveloping problem in our community and culture.

On Sunday, November 20, we will host the Executive Director (CEO) of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr Frank Page. Dr Page and his wife Dale have experienced the death of a beloved daughter to suicide. He will be sharing some of that experience with us in his presentation. I truly hope that many who need hope or healing in the face of losing a family member to suicide or who may themselves be contemplating taking their own lives will make their way here Sunday.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS IN THAT PLACE, PLEASE INVITE THEM TO COME WITH YOU!!!! You never know when something said on Sunday will bring help and hope to a hurting world. This is so vitally important… please don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

And with this said, please pray for those around us who, every day, are struggling with depression and this terrible loss of hope. And may God bring abundant grace as we hear His Word proclaimed Sunday.

See you then!

FOR MEDITATION:  Jesus wept.      John 11:35

FOR REFLECTION: If you have ever felt so alone that suicide seemed the only solution to your pain, please know that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. Call out to Him. I promise you, He’ll hear you!

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