|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be smart, be strategic”
Our Bible verse for today: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “If the church is the answer, what is the problem?”
I’m writing this morning with a heavy heart and deep sadness. My thoughts are on the tragic events surrounding the school shooting on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas. An eighteen-year-old walked into Robb Elementary School, opened fire with a rifle and a handgun, and 19 children and 2 teachers are dead. The shooting occurred only eighty miles from my son’s home. One of those children could have been my grandson – or yours.
According to one news channel, this is the twenty-seventh school shooting in the USA so far in 2022. That’s not counting all the other shootings in other settings, and it doesn’t even begin to account for the incalculable other acts of violence which occur every day in our nation from domestic violence, to rapes, to muggings, and so much more. Our society is broken and bleeding. We have a deep systemic problem.
Now, in the wake of this latest shooting, politicians across the political spectrum are saying the usual things, demanding this piece of legislation or that one, which they insist will fix the problem. And news media outlets are trotting out all the regular experts to talk about violence in the streets, the need for more gun laws, ways to increase security in schools, and on and on. But as helpful as some of those things might be, are any of them really the answer? For that matter, are guns or knives or fists or sex drives really the problem? Or, perhaps, is it deeper than that? Maybe those are just the symptoms and manifestations of something deeper and even more sinister.
Maybe sin is the problem, and maybe Jesus is the answer. And if that’s true, then more legislation, and double steel doors, and teachers with sidearms aren’t really what we need. And if those things are not what we really need, then elected officials and law enforcement officers and political activists don’t really have the answers.
In Matthew 6:13-16 Jesus said that we, His followers, the church, we are the answer. We are what our culture needs. The followers of Jesus Christ, armed with the truth of the Gospel and the love of God, we are the ones who are supposed to be the salt that helps to protect against decay in society. We are the ones who are supposed to be shining the light of the Gospel into the dark corners of the world.
Maybe if we, the Christians, were more actively on mission with Jesus in our communities; maybe if our churches were actually being smart and strategic and intentional about making a real difference in our little corners of the world; maybe then we’d be burying fewer of our children. If the church is the answer – okay, but then what is the problem? Why does evil seem to have such free reign in our society? If there are hundreds of thousands of churches scattered throughout every community across this nation, with tens of millions of professing Christians, why is evil still so pervasive?
We’ll think more about this tomorrow.
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