All of our hearts are broken by the shootings in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas. That violence occurred three days after Independence Day when we celebrated all that is right about America. The shootings displayed how much is still not right with our country and, as Robert frost put it, that "we have miles to go before we sleep."
We grieve the lives that were lost. We pray for the family members who mourn. And we lament the fact that racism, violence, suspicion, and hatred dominate too much of the landscape in our "land of the free."
Our Faith has taught for 2000 years that hatred is not the answer when the topic is human relationships. Love is the answer. Violence is not the answer. Love is the answer. Prejudice is not the answer. Love is the answer. Attacks are not the answer. Love is the answer. Retaliation is not the answer. Love is the answer. Separatism is not the answer. Love is the answer. Wise and brave souls have always understood that. Martin Luther King gave his life for that principle. So did Gandhi. So did Jesus. In fact, in his teachings Jesus established the standard for us: "You shall love the Lord your God ... and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." "Love your enemies, and pray for those who despitefully use you." "This is My commandment, that you love one another."
Love has always been the answer when the question is, "How should people deal with one another?" That has not changed. And it is up to us Christians to show the world what Love looks like, even when times are difficult. Especially when times are difficult. Those are the very times that the principle of active loving is the only hope our world has.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God." (I John 4:7) May it begin with us.