A week ago a young man walked into a night club in Orlando and killed and wounded 100 plus women and men. Most of them, maybe all of them were gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender, queer or maybe straight, but all of them totally unaware that one individual had marked all of them for execution.
In the media a firestorm over guns, homophobia, and radical Islam has erupted with new furor, all topics that need serious conversation, not slogans, rhetoric and finger pointing. But that is American life right now.
What gets lost in all of it, is the people who were destroyed: the lives lost, families ripped apart, the overwhelming and unrelenting suffering of those who lost spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and aunts and uncles, and another group of people deeply loved by God who must wend their way through the nightmare of PTSD, including first responders of all kinds.
And I wonder where the gospel is in all of this.
And then I hear in my Bluetooth headphones the young vocal artist Selena Gomez sing: “The world can be a nasty place,
You know it,
I know it, yeah.
We don’t have to fall from grace!
Put down the weapons you fight with
And kill ’em with kindness.
Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead now!
We’re running out of time,
Chasing the lies!
Every day a small piece of you dies.
You’re willing to fight, to be right!
Your lies are bullets.
Your mouth’s a gun.
And no war in anger was ever won,
Put out the fire before igniting,
Next time you’re fighting!
And kill ’em with kindness!”
And I think: “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Gospel truth – kindness incarnated in us.
Jeff Farley is the pastor at the Otisville-Mt. Hope Presbyterian Church, Otisville, New York 10963-0628, 845-386-3851. Our E-Newsletter sign up is at http://eepurl.com/bDjQNf . To find the church at Facebook, go to facebook.com/otisville.presbyterian or go to our church web site www.otisvillepres.org . For our Newsletter by email send us a request by email at firstname.lastname@example.org! To donate to our ministry, go to http://www.otisvillepres.org/donations1.html Worship with joy!