The Easy Way (part 2)
Like all other Americans, I have been distraught at the violence in our society and in our schools. Of course, the most recent mass shooting has sparked intense debate from children as well as pundits. The debate is heated. It is rarely kind. Hardly thoughtful. But I understand. Frustration often leads us to speak more with emotions than with our minds.
For many, the demands for our government to do more lead their agenda. If only the government would involve itself with more laws. Maybe citizens should rise up and change the Constitution? Guns have become the hottest of topics.
As a child visiting my grandparents I remember a reprint of an old Sears catalogue grandpa kept in the bathroom. It was fun to look back to the earlier part of the 20th century and see what items cost, what was popular, and in a sense, how people lived before my time. Sears sold nearly everything…including guns. Lots of guns. Pages and pages of guns.
This morning I read that at least 30 people a day are killed by others driving drunk. That sure seems like a problem as well. Lots and lots of people are unfortunately killed in America by knives. Way more than by rifles. Another problem. You get the point. We have issues in this country.
So what’s the answer? Again, many say “More laws.” Nothing wrong with laws. Laws are good, for the law abiding. God gave laws to his people in the Old Testament. Laws he expected to be kept. There are commandments in the New Testament as well. Without law, there is chaos.
I don’t know the legal answer to our country’s problems. I do, however, have pretty good insight into the spiritual one. We have an abundance of laws. We don’t have much Jesus. We like laws because laws are easy. They take away much of our responsibility. If it is the law, it sort of becomes someone else’s problem. After all, there are already people who are paid to enforce the law.
But who is supposed to bring others to Jesus? Who is it that is responsible for seeing the kingdom of God reign on this earth and people embracing the life and love of Jesus? Who is to be the change agent for the world? The church. Us!
So, I see a direct correlation between the church of Jesus playing a less and less significant role in the lives of our citizens and the changes we are experiencing in our culture. For me, things certainly don’t seem to be getting better. But that too can change! And it will change if the church takes more and more seriously our role and responsibility in this world.
Granted, it would be easier for our politicians to set everything right. I pray for their wisdom and courage to do what is best for us all. But I don’t rely on others to do what is necessary. I rely on God’s Spirit to empower the church and embolden us to get busy. It won’t be easy. Nothing that matters ever is.