I was caught today by these thoughts: can our faith inform our conversation about gun violence in America? What role does the Church play in stemming this scourge that has plagues our public and private life?
The reality of course, is that as members of the human family, we are all guilty of the wrongdoings our sisters and brothers face. We Christians have often failed to recognize, or have intentionally ignored the warning signs, perhaps because facing the issue is uncomfortable and challenging to our American ideals. In doing so, have we abandoned God's call for us to be our siblings keepers?
Friends, we need to repent. And Lent is a season of repentance.
We must seek forgiveness from God and our neighbors for the Church's sometimes complacent behavior toward acts of terrible violence. We have dishonored the creative power of God by thinking that solutions to gun violence are someone else's problem. It is a moral problem, one that the church has a historical voice of experience to share.
If we seek to bring a peaceable kin-dom to reality, it starts with repentance, and leads to action.
Kristen Marble, a Commissioned Pastor of the Evangelical Church of North America wrote in 2013 that, "gun control really hinges on the question of freedom. [And] as Christians, are we truly granted ultimate, unabated freedom? Or are we granted freedom from ... ourselves, sin, hyper-individualism? And freedom to ... serve God, bring justice, love others?"
This Lent, as we find ways to cast out the shadowy side of our lives, may we be in a spirit of repentance for our failures. And in the hope of God's mercy, may we find freedom to "serve God, bring justice and love others."
It's another way for us to Be Excellent To Each Other! <>< Rev. Andy Beck
P.S. Here's the link to read Kristen Marble's full post: https://sojo.net/articles/end-violence/guns-according-jesus