As much as we may feel that we go to church to feel the peace and love of God’s presence, to soak in familiarity and comfort every week – the opposite is just as true. We cannot escape a real world filled with pain, injustice, and irrational, unspeakable acts of violence. Seven people died publicly and violently in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas last week; 49 in Orlando three weeks before. Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2) modeled for us that, even with tears in our eyes, we are not to run from these things but meet them with all the love and energy we can muster to change this toxicity killing bodies and souls. We are called to stare it down with determination to heal – and not just stare it down, but act. Our life as a church is not about making the world a sweeter place, but rather a better, truer place built on right relationship. And that is very difficult work, which calls us to face our own deepest feelings.
If we see our pre-school as a mission in the world to support children and families, and nurture a young generation, then please think about how healing our communities is also a crucial part of this mission. There will be no world for the children if we do not act. Jesus asks us to feel the pain and indignation of being ripped apart, losing loved ones, losing hope, and being helpless. If this does not seem like a very soothing or comfortable message, I can’t apologize. Be indignant with me if you wish for saying these things, but remember that there are spouses and children weeping because their beloveds have been taken from them, communities shattered by bias and fear. If each one of us does not do something to address this ripped-apart world, who wlll?