I’m sure I’m not alone when I say in these post-presidential election days, it’s been difficult to push myself to get out there to do the work to which I feel called. With the holidays approaching, it would be a good cocooning season. But here in Ohio, we’ve not had that luxury, as a dangerous piece of legislation that we call The Guns Everywhere bill is being argued and pushed for passage in the Lame Duck session of the Legislature. Also, I was asked by my church to write a week’s worth of Advent devotionals that began last Sunday with the lighting of the Peace Candle on the Advent wreath. I’m writing about what fills my heart, what challenges my mind when I’d rather cocoon, and what keeps my hands and feet moving to do God’s work — namely, what are we doing and what are we going to do to end the scourge of gun violence in our country. Here’s my first post:
As we await once more the birth of the Prince of Peace, I’m remembering that Jesus was born into a violent world filled with political unrest. So I feel called to write from the perspective of the chilling amount of violence in our country and will be drawing upon resources from across denominations that I have discovered in my work in the area of gun violence.
I see gun violence as a deeply spiritual issue because it involves human suffering and injustice that will only be alleviated through compassion and the involvement from people of faith who speak out in their churches and in the public arena. It is not merely a political issue, though much of the work to reduce deaths and injuries draws us into the political arena. As Christians we look to the bible for guidance about how we are to live. The bible has much to say about our personal morality, but we must also acknowledge that the bible says even more about our public morality. Our witness for Christ is to be a public witness.
Throughout the week, I will be using scripture, statements of non-violence from across denominations and faiths, and prayer to help guide us through the weekdays that follow the lighting of the Peace Candle on the Advent Wreath.
For today, I share the scripture that brought us to the name of the organization I lead, God Before Guns.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them. (Exodus 20:4-5)
Prayer: Lord, for the times that I have put any possession above you. For violent thoughts or actions that have caused me to stray from you. For silence and inaction when I have witnessed or been aware of violence. God forgive me, and come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.