Weapons of Mass 

I feel sorry for him a little bit.

I don’t know his name.  I saw him a few times while he was in town and talked with him a bit as well.  He is hurting, no doubt.  He is angry and, maybe, if the roles were reversed, I would be as well.

But he did something that I cannot condone.  He made a choice that fills me with disgust.

He called our little town’s officials and told them that he was going to use some explosives to hurt a government building and our school.

Listen…  I know how anger can get ahold of us.  

I was confident it was a foolish hoax, so I moved directly through fear and went straight to protection mode.  You threaten my kids and I promise, you are going to feel it.

HOWEVER – Jesus prevailed in me that day.

I picked up a different weapon.  Different than fear or protection or anger:  Peace.

Our world seems to have this thing about fear and guilt and shame and terror.  We use terror as a weapon.  For both defense and offense.  That weapon causes harm all throughout the universe.

One small dose of terror spreads throughout our town, turning laughter into vengeance.  It spreads through our state and our country and our world.  

Terror will always be this toxic.

It destroys us on a mass level.

When Jesus was born, the angels proclaimed one thing about the weapon He had brought from Heaven.  It was sung: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, PEACE among men with whom He is pleased.”  

Peace will do the same thing that terror will do.   Peace will change the heart of a man, then a family, then a town, then a state, then a country, then a world…

Peace will also destroy us on a mass level.  Peace destroyed my angry heart that day.  It will destroy my fear today.  It will destroy terror soon.

Jesus, let me use the weapon of mass redemption that you brought to Bethlehem that day.  Peace with God and on the earth.  Amen.

Fight Fire With

Fighting fire with fire is the most destructive option.  If a Forrest is on fire, the mentality is this:  destroy a little with a little fire so the big fire has less fuel.

Fire with fire is using what you hate about your enemy to destroy what you love so your enemy cannot destroy it with what you hate.  (Exhausting just thinking about it)

So why do we keep doing that in our relationships?

“Let’s see how THEY like being lied to…”
“I will give them a taste of their own medicine.”
“STOP YELLING AT ME!!!”

“Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord,” (Romans 12:19 and Deuteronomy 32:35) oh, but retaliatory strikes clearly belong to the scorned.

Christmas:
We celebrate a birth that would end death’s sting.
A Savior that would love you and me all the way to the cross.
He told us to turn the other cheek and that the greatest commandments were love, and then love… (Matthew 22:37-40)

Jesus didn’t fight fire with fire, He fought with love.

Jesus, let me fight with an everlasting love in the relationships You have given me – every friend and every enemy.

Awwww, Same Thing

The first time Joshua threw this large die across the floor, he ran up to it and exclaimed with jubilation, “Yes!  An ‘A’!!!”  I sang out, “Yippee.”  Daniel laughed with appropriate celebration and Joshua prepared for the next round.

“Yes, a horse!”

“Yes, a ‘1’!”

Then it happened.  I heard Joshua throw the die.  He ran over to it and said, “Awwww, same thing.”  He had rolled another ‘A’ and was disappointed that there was nothing new turning up.

Thirty minutes later (yep, not an exaggeration) Joshua was still throwing the same die.  By this time he had gone through every outcome.  Therefore, every time he would throw, he would run over and say, “Awwww, same thing.”  Daniel still laughed.  Joshua was growing a little agitated.  Instead of describing the idea of probability and outcome to my four year old, I did the dishes.

“Daddy… my dice is broken”  I gave him some BRILLIANT advice…  “Here, try this different die.”

Then the excitement was on…  for a little bit.

Albert Einstein is credited with this definition of insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. 

Sometimes we need to try something new.  (You know how much we love change!)

Not experiencing new life?  What needs to change?
Not experiencing spiritual growth?  What are you going to change?

Try Jesus this week – see if something exciting happens.  It will.

It might be time to get a new set of dice.  Or maybe you want to keep saying, “Awwww…”

Jesus, let me try something new.