Fields United Methodist Church

“The solution to violence in the world” I Peter 1:22-25

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“Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart.”

I Peter 1:22

 

As our nation racks its brain over the senseless violence that we have recently experienced, as we consider options that could lessen its probability, the answer has been with us from the beginning of time. This answer has been ridiculed, marginalized and even banned in the very places that are seeing the loss of young lives.  We look to government leaders and gun control to solve growing violent behavior, and yes we as a nation need to address our current laws but gun control will not solve the epidemic if hearts and minds are not transformed by the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. So what if we prayed, not just at the time of tragedy but all the time? What if the Christian church, whose basis is the grace of God, were taken more seriously not only by our nation but by those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ? Some ridicule our Christian faith as a mental illness, but at what cost; abandoning the very solution to the problem that needs to be seriously addressed. A few people are offended by Christian prayer and so even the church backs off in the name of inclusivity and “sensitivity” to the belief or nonbelief of others.   The truth is and the fact is the Body of Christ, the church, is the solution if we take this message to the street, a message of hope and “genuine mutual love.”  A heart transformed by the Love of God will not incite nor inflict violence because its obedience is to something far greater than itself. A heart transformed by grace celebrates the sanctity of all life and respects the lives of others.   How do we as a church and as a nation begin the healing and saving process? We “love the Lord [our] God with all of [our] heart, and with all of [our] soul, and with all of [our] might, and love [our] neighbor as [ourselves].” (Jesus) And most importantly, “keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and your gates.” (God, from Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Do not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for in it is the revelation of God’s love in Jesus that is meant to be witnessed, especially in times such as these.  May the church return to being a “thermostat” that transforms society rather than a “thermometer” that simply reacts to the challenges and whims of culture. (M.L King) “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with [us].” (#431UMH)

Pastor Tom

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