It trains us to reject ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, that is, the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:12-13 (EHV).
It happened again. More shootings, more murder, more violence done on innocents. The media assesses blame; politicians pander for cheap points; people take sides yet again. Average folks simply living their lives are gunned down and nothing seems to change. It happens every day in our cities, yet when a mass shooting occurs, it shocks us. We send our thoughts and prayers but some scoff at those, mocking them, mocking us; mocking this Jesus we follow.
God’s word is for our use, not for us to build walls around ourselves or our houses of worship. God’s word, specifically the saving grace He describes through it, is an active tool that trains us to repent and re-shape our lives. To reach those who don’t know or are hurting. God’s word, ALL of it, is the one thing that can consistently teach us how to live together in peace.
So, if we can live in peace through God’s word, how is it that, over the weekend, those mass murders happen, one here in Texas and another in Ohio? God gives us this wonderful tool and yet evil seems to prevail, people still choose evil over peace. Christian cliques or no, these things still keep happening.
I wonder if the shooters ever considered the words here in Titus. Jesus called Paul, and later Paul taught Titus. I wonder if someone ever exposed them to the lessons Paul taught about how clinging closer to Jesus wards off the temptation to submit to evil. While we wait for the blessed hope and return of Jesus our Savior, we have to live with each other here on the Third Rock. Perhaps Paul would agree that the only way we can do that is by keeping our eyes focused on Jesus, our hearts cleaving to Him. By constantly going back to the cross to remember what He did for us on it. Especially when scoffers ridicule believers by saying this Jesus is absent.
Especially after this weekend, we need that invisible Christ who reaches out through us to comfort our sisters and brothers and resist the urge to respond with more evil. In the aftermath of murder, now isn’t the time to focus on the slander, or to stick to our cliques. To paraphrase my friend, Chad Bird, now is the time to see how violence done to innocents is atoned to peace through the innocent man on the cross who had unspeakable violence done to Him.
For further reading: 1 Corinthians 1:7, 2 Timothy 3:12, 2 Peter 1:1, Titus 2:14.
Lord Jesus, help us to stay closer to You. Comfort through us; help others through us; help us to help others by ministering as You would.