April 13th Weekly Meditation
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. - John 2:13-15
There has been a joke going around that says we will know things are back to normal when we start seeing mass shootings on the news once again. It is not funny.
Sadly, however, that is what we are seeing. The news last night led with not one, not two, but three stories of gun violence. One was at a school, one was a police shooting, and one was a random act of violence. It made the erupting volcano in the Caribbean seem like the "feel good" story of the night.
We seem to be okay with it, though. These incidents keep happening over and over again. A random act of gun violence here, a mass shooting there. I have lost count of how many there have been in recent weeks. And the President makes some perfunctory call for change and we send our thoughts and prayers and then we get up and go about our days as if it were all so "normal." I have to admit it makes me kind of angry.
Lately, I have been reflecting on anger. I see so much anger in our world. I see it on the news, I see it on the street, I see it in people around me. Sometimes that anger boils up to the surface and pours out in marches and demonstrations, and sometimes it pours out in riots and more violence and hate-filled rants caught on cell phones.
Jesus got angry when he saw the Temple, the center of Jewish religious life and the seat of God's presence on earth, turned into a marketplace. He got angry over the misuse and abuse of this sacred space. He got angry because this was not the way it is supposed to be.
It makes me think there can be bad anger and there can be good anger. Bad anger is often self-centered and destructive. Bad anger says, "I am unhappy, and I am going to lash out."
On the other hand, good anger means we can look at the world around us and see that it is not the way it is supposed to be. Good anger can lead us to seek change and do the work of God's kingdom. Good anger focuses on us, and not just me.
We all get angry sometimes. With God's help, maybe our anger can do some good and maybe someday, the kingdom of God, a world of peace, love, and justice, will become our new normal.
Worship This Week
In-person and streaming on Facebook Live
If you join us in-person, you must wear a mask and follow safe distancing.
If you are not well or have been exposed to someone with the corona virus, please watch from home.
Thursday Worship will resume April 22, 6:30pm, in the North Room.
Keep In Prayer:
Sherry Williams, Sherry's friend Cheryl, Mary Wallen, Alvin Shelley, Dee Kuhlman, Kathy Sanders' mother & brother
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne, Bernie Reynolds