“This is my Father’s world. O let me not forget. That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.” (This is My Father’s World – 3rd stanza)
Dominating the news in the past weeks has been the response to yet another act of mass violence and terrorism, this time, committed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. What’s even more troubling about this is less than two weeks later, our focus is not so much on the people who died, the trauma of those who survived, and the grief of an entire community. Instead our country and its people have turned their focus to gun control legislation and the divisive rhetoric that ensues from both sides.
I’m an advocate for stricter gun control legislation. The idea that guns can lawfully be procured by people with severe mental illness, a record of propensity for violence, or terrorist tendencies is appalling to me. Also appalling is the fact that high tech weapons of war, which should only be handled by highly trained military professionals in designated situations, can be lawfully acquired by an untrained private citizen.
No Constitutional right has ever been judged to be absolute, especially one which is in conflict with the preservation of life. Gun control that seeks to reduce our exposure to these most risky of situations is a fair abridgment of the 2nd Amendment, when you consider the value of life which hangs in the balance.
My thoughts on sensible gun control legislation do not come from any ideology, any political stance, or any enforcement of my rights as an American. My thoughts come only from the Gospel, and like Jesus, a sense of rejoicing in the wonder of God’s Holy Will. Our God is the author, redeemer and sanctifier of our lives. As a person of faith in this God, life and love are the most precious of all things, because God created all life, and the world that supports all life. God values life so much that God was willing to die for it. The entire world that God created weeps over death and destruction, over violence and hate, over terror and the taking of lives. These events are reminders that while God’s Will is ultimate, our world remains in sin until another day.
So, my heart goes out to the victims in Orlando, San Bernardino, Paris, etc. etc. etc. While the grief in those communities is acute, in a sense, we are all victims of this cycle of violence. I join with you under the cross of Jesus Christ and call for the end of suffering, the end of these episodes of death. I also ask you to pray for God’s Will of love and life to be our guide as we seek to heal the brokenness of our communities. If the way from the cross is not the way of life, then why are we taking it? God went to the cross to show us the way to life.
Shall we continue to follow on the way of death?
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About this website
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church (GA) in New York City has been chosen as one of eight internship congregations to participate this year in a church-wide initiative designed to increase our understanding of Holy Scripture and most importantly, to cultivate our engagement with it. In partnership with The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Vicar John Heidgerd will be working to develop innovative ways to deepen our faith formation and sense of discipleship for the sake of ourselves and our communities.