05 Oct Weekly Reflection from Pastor Janine
Beloved of God,
After the horrific violence in Los Vegas Sunday evening, many of us ask “why”? We want an answer from God, a justification for why God allows such violence in the world. Our hearts are broken for the victims, the first responders, and for the one with so much hate in his heart.
Instead of asking “why” of God, perhaps we need to ask it of each other. Surely God is broken hearted over all the violence in the world, wondering why we have not fully understood the message of love and peace sent through Christ and through most of the world’s religions. Love is the conscious choice we have to make every day, every moment to live in peace and harmony. Love demands that we get beyond the superficial conversations of blame and shame to find that which connects us at the deepest human level. Love also asks us to go beyond political ideologies as we talk about guns and violence. I continue to hear Jesus’ words to us from the cross. “Father, forgive them (us); for they (we) do not know what they (we) are doing.” (Luke 23:34) How long will we continue to see violence as an answer?
My prayer is that we never allow hopelessness, hate, and fear to stun us into silence and helplessness. Be especially tender and forgiving with each other this week. Offer kindness and deep listening to those you disagree with. Give yourselves permission to grieve, to feel the pain of violence, even as you continue to live your lives. Choose love, in what you say and do, in how you treat yourself and each other, and especially in your willingness to know and feel God’s love for you at the very core of your being.
In love and hope