On Mass Shootings

A MINISTER’S MUSINGS……………………………………….ON MASS SHOOTINGS (February 27/18)

It has happened again. A former disgruntled, perhaps mentally ill student returns to his school, armed with an assault weapon and within minutes 17 people are dead. Amid blood and screams, an ordinary day devoted to learning is turned into a bloodbath.

Many of the students of that school in Florida have had it. They are speaking up and out—often. They are organizing a nationwide march to protest the fact that the lawmakers in their country (adults!) refuse to enact laws that would save lives—their lives. Instead, these lawmakers are bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association which pours millions of dollars into the election campaigns of pro-gun candidates.

Something is amiss here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And it is the children of the country who are standing up to voice their desire for a different world. They are the ones seeking justice and action to redeem the thousands of lives that have been lost due to the easy access to powerful assault rifles that have nothing to do with hunting, but everything to do with war. They even have their President listening to them—fitfully.

Those brave and traumatized young people are justice seekers, just as Jesus was some 2,000 years ago.
He saw the oppressed and marginalized of his day, eking out a subsistence existence, living under the cruel heel of the Roman authorities and hemmed in by the religious leaders of his day. And he too, stood up to his oppressors and would not be silenced.

Very often in the church, we focus on the healing and preaching aspects of Jesus’ ministry. His passion for social justice, however, is overlooked. But when Jesus enters the Temple courtyard and throws out the moneychangers who were fleecing the people to line their own pockets, Jesus called them to account and demanded change. He stood tall and ferocious in his demands for social justice.

Do you think those young people in Florida are using Jesus as a role model to give them courage to speak truth to power, demanding change so that no more of their fellow students need suffer the way that they have? I would like to think so!

Blessings, Linda