After the funeral services for the Salt Company members who died in a shooting incident, Director Solomon Rexius identified three verses from the Bible that he personally found comforting from the trauma.
The Salt Company Journeying From The Shadow Of Death
The Gospel Coalition published a copy of the sharing Solomon Rexius gave on June 16 when members of the Salt Company, a college ministry at Iowa State University, met after the traumatic incident. Rexius shared that he, like the rest of the ministry's members and the victim's families, is still in the "valley of the shadow of death."
"I'm not out of the shadow yet. But I'm walking, and somehow, each day, God meets me with new morning mercies and daily bread for the path ahead. I have been learning to lean all of my weight on God's promises found in the Bible," Rexius said.
Christianity Daily reported that The Salt Company's Eden Montang was shot by his ex-boyfriend, Johnathan Whitlatch, outside the parking lot of Cornerstone Church on June 2. Whitlatch also shot Montang's friend, Vivian Flores, who happened to be there with her that evening. A third person who was with Montang managed to escape. Whitlatch then committed suicide with his own gun.
The incident, regarded by local police as a domestic situation, happened while The Salt Company was conducting a summer event involving 1,300 students in the church. The two women were buried one day after the other, which Rexius described as "back-to-back murder funerals" and called the worst week of his life. He said it is legally called a "double-murder suicide."
God's Unbreakable Promises For Those Who Mourn
Rexius, who is also the director of Cornerstone Church, contrasted God's promises to many things in life that have a weight limit. The director said that God's promises have no weight limit, will never break, and would not bend no matter how heavy the burden placed on them may be. It is so durable that one can not only place one's weight on it but also the world's weight.
According to Rexius, there are three promises God made in the Bible that a community of mourners like theirs could find consolation in. These are Matthew 1:23, Matthew 5:4, and John 1:5. The director shared that he chanced upon Steve Cuss' "Managing Leadership Anxiety," which stamped on him the idea that "Jesus is already there." He said when the shooting happened, though he was not there, Jesus was.
"Because Jesus is Immanuel. He is always there," Rexius stressed.
The director then cited the beatitudes where Jesus spoke of mourning as a blessing. He then directed his listeners not to avoid places of trauma--such as the church's parking lot where the incident happened--but to reclaim it as a "space in Jesus' name." This way, he said, the light will shine in the darkness as Jesus promised. The church, which is a holy place, will regain its ground for what it is and, "Light wins."
These verses hopefully would bring light to those mourning while the string of gun violence continues in the country. CBS News reported that two were killed and one wounded in a Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church shooting incident on Thursday night. While Church Leaders reported that the Brown Missionary Baptist Church had to cancel their in-person services on Wednesday when a man threatened to "shoot up" the church.
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