An Advent Lament – Responding to Violence


I’m angry and broken and saddened and disgusted. My bleeding heart is hurting.

I’m crying out to God – Lord, Have Mercy! Christ, Have Mercy!

The faces of the victims merge in a blur as the news reports with greater frequency, almost daily, those taken in a storm of violence.

Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Charleston, Colorado Springs, San Bernardino… I’m losing track of how many died and where. It’s all too common. It’s all too senseless.

So many rally to the cause of life while clinging to the weapons of death.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?!

Or do they?

Bitterly, people of faith cling to one sided interpretations of a document a couple centuries old instead of daily living a life patterned after an ancient prophet and savior.

Fear runs rampant.

Perfect love casts our fear…

Talk of overthrowing governments should the need arise.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Apocalyptic scenarios are postulated.

My God will supply all your needs.

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  

“I swore an oath and I’m going to keep it.”

Do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.

An eye for an eye?  What happened to  Love your enemies.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  God is Love.

The almighty weapon is worshiped, worth dying to keep. The peacemakers are ridiculed.  Violence is glorified.

I’m ready to beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.

In this season of Advent, as we look to the coming Son of God,  we have four gifts from our Father.

In times such as this, these gifts are values to cling to tightly as we hold on to those we love.

Hope… Love… Joy… Peace

Our Hope has come. Our Hope is coming.

God is Love. Perfect Love casts our fear. Love one another. Love your enemies.

Joy. Sorrow will last for the night, but Joy comes in the morning. The advent of Joy…

Peace.  “Peace I bring to you.” He is the wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.