Reflecting Biblically on the Jan. 6 Violence

By Larry Lin and Julius Thomas

We’ve watched it live, seen the images, or heard the reports about the January 6 violence: the storming of the U. S. Capitol Building. Perhaps some of you were there.

You may be experiencing all sorts of emotional reactions, and that’s okay. It is healthy to have authentic human responses to major events.

It’s also okay if the way you are processing everything this week looks different from the way someone else in our church is processing things. We recognize that the body of Christ is diverse — we have a variety of cultural backgrounds, formative experiences, and political affiliations.

But with that said, our hope is that we can all seek to process the events of the week in a healthy way. For some of you, it may mean doing some research to try to be educated about some of the underlying factors involved in what happened. For others, it may mean finding a few people with whom to have a conversation about our country. And for others, it may mean intentionally not following the news for a time. All can be appropriate responses.

We have written a short reflection guide to help you to explore how you are feeling and lead you to a place of healing. Feel free to explore these questions, whether through personal reflection on your own or relational conversation with others.

  •  What is one word you would use to express your emotional state after what transpired on Jan. 6, 2021? Why did you choose that word?
  • After witnessing all of the events that took place, do you feel hopeful, hopeless, or unsure that our country is moving toward reconciliation and understanding, and why?
  • What do you believe the Christian response to what happened should be, both individually and corporately?
  • In what ways are you struggling to trust in the promises of God in light of what happened this week?
  • The command to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5 is a command we must heed in these unprecedented times. Take some time to read through Psalm 13 and then Psalm 46. Pray through Psalm 13 and feel the freedom to lament the suffering we experience in a fallen world. As you pray, ask “how long” as the Psalmist does. End with Psalm 46,  reflecting on the victorious power of God, trusting even in the midst of calamity that God will claim victory!

Larry Linn is the executive pastor and Julius Thomas is the engagement pastor of Village Church, in Hampden, Maryland.