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.