We're missing the root cause.
Sin and hatred have always been with us. Race wars and hate crimes are throughout the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience blame tragedies like Orlando a couple of weeks ago and those that occurred this week in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and Dallas on any of the above since I firmly believe they are merely symptoms of the root cause. As Christians, we should know better; no need to hurl accusations and blame the peripheral issues.
The "accuser of the brethren" is out and about; he's on a seek and destroy mission. Sometimes he comes as a lion, other times he comes disguised as an angel of light. Either way, he's out to destroy the mission we're called to; to advance the kingdom of God. He's out to distract us. He desires to convince us we need to blame the politically correct issues rather than to point the finger of blame at him. He's the one whose mission it is to prevent people from turning to God and knowing Christ as their personal Savior.
Some think banning guns will usher in peace. Or if we label everything a hate crime and serve justice on those guilty of it, we'll have peace. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace. He came to set the wounds of a broken world and broken lives right. Wounds caused by sin in each of our lives since the fall of man. Nothing or no one else can bring peace to this fallen world, or to our broken lives. It's impossible to be at peace with others without first being at peace with ourselves; we can only experience that by being at peace with God. Only He can bridge the deep chasm and bring healing and peace to this world, one life at a time.
Peace comes through reconciliation and forgiveness. The kind of reconciliation and forgiveness that Christ bought on the cross for a world of individuals steeped in sin (That's you and me in case you didn't figure that out.) He bought us peace with God. (Romans 5:1)
A little over a year ago, the survivors and victims of the tragedy in Charleston gave a young man and the watching world a taste of what the peace with God brings; the peace of God. (Philippians 4:7) From their example of extending forgiveness to the murderer, we saw the supernatural peace of God. That was a beautiful act of reconciliation and forgiveness. They were the hands and feet of Jesus, instruments of His peace.
And now the world is watching America yet again. They're looking for peace and hope. By God's unfathomable grace, let's be instruments of His peace to a lost world.
So how do we do that? What do we do with the rioting, the racial tensions, the hatred and strife that's going on around us? As vigilant as we may try, we can't save the world or bring peace to it as a whole, but we can be His hands and feet, becoming instruments of peace that demonstrate the character of God here on earth. We can be involved in our own communities and spheres of influence, building bridges and treating one another with dignity and honor. I love how The Message states it in James 3:17,18
"Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor."
Let's pray for everyone whose lives were altered by these tragedies. Let's stand with our brothers and sisters regardless of race or profession. Let's pray for our country. Let's pray for revival. Let's pray for peace.
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi - 13th century