A Lenten Response to Violence

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3-10 (New International Version)

This past Wednesday, I spoke about the start of Lent on Valentines Day, the day of love.  Ironically, we witnessed another school shooting that took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,Florida.  Again, we see the families and friends of the victims, the killer (who’s in custody), the pros and cons of gun control, the President’s platitudes, etc…

Please, I’m not making light of the tragedy.  However, we’ve seen this over and over again: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas.  We get into a cyclical pattern of pain, promises and pronouncements that fade into time before the dead cool off in their graves.  We never sit and address this issue head on.

For those of us in the Boardinghouse of Faith, we have an answer in tonight’s Scripture.  Here we see Jesus starting his Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, which can give us an insight regarding this shooting issue. Christ calls us to be open, vulnerable, to seek peace, to have a passion for righteousness, to be pure (undefiled by society’s crap), to mourn (over the mess in our world-not just lip service), to be merciful, and to be peacemakers. So far, all our other “solutions” have lead to dead ends and dead people. At best, we’re looking for quick fixes.

Tonight’s Scripture calls for openness that cuts into the gun debate and the gun culture that’s uniquely American. Jesus’s words make us face the ugly truths of how our violence-soaked culture, coupled with the lie of Christian heterosexual White male privilege, has enabled these shooters to carry out their crimes. For us, it would be all too easy to maintain the business as usual approach. However, if we’re to heal our society from our gun fetish and more mass shootings, we need to do this and fast.

As we journey into Lent, and as the gun control issue is brought up, let’s learn from Jesus through tonight’s Scripture. Let’s pray that God will call us all to remembrance the words of Christ.

Pray for Parkland, and for other places where gun violence rears its ugly head.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

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About dangerouschristian

My name is Victor Reynolds. I'm a Christian who desires a more mystical approach to my spiritual life. I'm also a photographer as well who loves to create. I call myself "dangerous" because anyone-especially a Christian-who dares to be beyond the "norm" and allows to let the Christ live in them is dangerous.
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