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Culture
Steph Martin

Stephanie Martin, a writer and editor in Colorado, has 20 years of Christian publishing experience.

Boston—A festive annual event turned deadly Monday when explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blasts, reportedly bombs, were apparently timed to put the most competitors and spectators at risk. Firefighters found other undetonated devices near the race site, andsecurity was heightened in cities across the United States.

According to news reports, two people were killed and more than 100 injured, including numerous amputations. Witnesses described a chaotic, bloody scene. “Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror,” tweeted one reporter.

Dr. Alisdair Conn, chief of emergency medicine at Mass General, said, “This is like a bomb explosion we hear about in the news in Baghdad or Israel.”

Authorities are investigating the attacks in an attempt to identify the culprit. Saying it’s early to point fingers, terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann noted, “There’s an emphasis on these soft targeted attacks now. We’re moving away from the spectacular attacks and we’re moving into the small grade, homegrown attacks.”

About 27,000 runners from 96 countries participated in this year’s marathon, one of Boston’s signature events. Many local businesses are closed on the third Monday of April as tens of thousands of spectators watch the 26.2-mile race.

Sources: cnn.com, nbcnews.com, foxnews.com, abcnews.go.com

Discussion Questions:

  • What types of emotions does this news raise for you, and why? If this turns out to be an act of terrorism—either international or domestic—what are some typical motives behind such an attack?
  • What type of power do threats of violence and actual violence have over individuals and nations? Does terrorism, whether in America or around the world, make you question your personal safety? Do acts like these change the way you see the world? Why or why not? What impact do acts of violence like these have on you?
  • What are ways that you cope with the fear and uncertainty of living in a sinful world? Does being a follower of Jesus make you feel less or more safe than you would otherwise? Explain. During times of chaos and pain, where do you find comfort and hope? Jesus hasn’t promised us a safe life, but He’s also challenged us to live in peace, not fear—how is that possible for us?
  • If you have eternal security, does it matter whether or not you feel (or are) secure here on earth? What “security” can you offer other people who are afraid for their safety or fearful about living in a sinful world?

Scripture links: Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 4:8; Lamentations 3:55-66; John 14:27; John 16:33; Romans 8:31-39; and Philippians 4:6-7.

 

 

 

 

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