[22 May 2017 – a day in which too many young people died in Manchester, England (and so many other places)]
Once again, collective humankind is appalled that someone would strap a bomb to himself, enter a crowd of people, and rejoice at the ensuing destruction and death – including his own.
How is this possible? How can this be? What has happened to humanity – (all of it, for each of us in our own way has been the source of varying degrees of destruction and death) – that we have devolved so far from the joy, love, hope, and peace for which we were intended?
Of course, what makes us especially indignant and baffled this time around is that the victims are young. We feel that this particular evil is especially bad because it was so unfairly targeted, so wrongly directed, and so devilishly aimed.
But isn’t this the very nature of evil, that it is an indiscriminate infliction of anger, hatred, and pain? Would it have been less evil had the targets been infants? young adults? middle-aged adults? aged adults?
Evil cares nothing about the essence of people or things. It does not recognize inherent worth. It does not measure value in ways that make sense.
And so our world continues to be – as it has always been – a place where evil inflicts its barbaric and mindless destruction — indiscriminately.
But this, too: our world continues to be – as it has always been – a place where God LOVES even more indiscriminately than evil hates; where God RESTORES even more indiscriminately than evil destroys; where God FORGIVES even more indiscriminately than evil offends; where God HEALS even more indiscriminately than evil injures.
God’s indiscriminate forgiveness and redemption, fully and freely available to all, is wider, higher, deeper, longer, stronger, and infinitely more powerful than every turn of evil.
Our world is a shattered mess because of humanity. There is lasting hope because of Jesus Christ our Lord.
That’s the story we must live into, even as we take a stand against evil, boldly proclaim the truth of the cross, and fully embrace the hope of glory.
Death wounds for a lifetime. The love of Christ reigns for eternity.
May God’s peace and comfort be with those who mourn, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Amen.