Posted on February 15, 2018
I sometimes wonder how often we ministers will have to keep writing pastoral responses like this one. As the psalmist asked, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13:1)
The unspeakable tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is just the latest in what seems an unending saga of senseless acts of violence and tragic losses of life. It is especially disturbing that our very lexicon now includes references that do not require explanation. Simply say “Columbine” or “Aurora” or “Virginia Tech” or “Sandy Hook” or “the Vegas concert” or “the Orlando nightclub” or now “Parkland High School,” and everyone understands what you’re talking about. Gun violence has become part of our norm. That is a sobering, saddening, and staggering reality. There is no “norm” anywhere that should include that.
Posted on February 5, 2018
With credit to Pastor David Sumrall of the Cathedral of Praise in Manila, Philippines, I want to share with you a thought I got from him. He did an online devotional last month from Genesis chapter 2. As you recall, chapters 1 and 2 of the Bible’s first book offer slightly different renditions of The Creation Story. In chapter 1, God forms males and females simultaneously. In chapter 2, however, God forms man first, observes for a while, and basically says, “I can improve on that” and so fashions woman. Anyway, in chapter 2 we read the verse, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground....” A few verses later the author writes, “So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and bird of the air....” What jumps out at you from those two verses? God used the same resource (dirt from the earth) to create the full, wide array of living creatures (cats and cows, eagles and elephants, foxes and frogs, hedgehogs and humans).