“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” -Mathew 19:13
We have failed miserably and that millstone that Jesus sometimes threatened his disciples with should drag us to the bottom without mercy. Forever.
The statistics build up and are unforgiving. The pictures filled with teenaged energy stare back at us and there is no escape. We have failed and no amount of social media remorse or outrage can ever recover the children that were given to us to love and protect. We may think that this was not the community I live in so the tragedy is somehow not mine but the sad truth is that this darkness could afflict any community at any time, that is how deeply we have failed.
Finger pointing won’t do it either. It’s their fault. Whoever we don’t agree with is somehow at fault. People on the other side of our political views are the ones and should be held responsible. Or so the vitriol of the day goes on and on and on.
What was it that Jesus said… take the log out of your own eye before you remove the speck from the other’s eye?
Me who me?
Yes, we have together become a basket of vipers at each other with venom enough to destroy everyone…and it is.
The self-righteousness alive right now spits at the idea of loving one’s enemies and yet God pleads with us to somehow reach out and include the ones we can’t accept. But we don’t.
What happened to discussion over condemnation? What happened to listening? What happened to compromise and negotiation? What happened to submerging self interest and championing community interest? What happened to working out a solution?
And we who call ourselves religious are as guilty as anyone. God did not call us to be Christian so that we could wax superior over our rivals. I am sick of it and convicted by the news time and time again.
Children die in our schools, children die at the end of our drone attacks (how dare we call a child collateral damage!) children die of starvation all over the world, children die on the end of weapons we buy and deploy, children die trying to escape the chaos that war has made out of their homes, children die, children die, children die… and yet we still want to believe it isn’t our fault.
It is our fault, all of us together. So, it is up to us to change it. Jesus said it best with the very first words he proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Turn towards God, humble yourself, and believe that somewhere there is good news to be lived. Now is the time. Don’t delay. In fact there is no other time.
Tim Ives is the minister at the Scarborough Presbyterian Church. He is also a New York State licensed Psychoanalyst in private practice in Bedford Hills, New York.