Wednesday, June 29, 2016

41 dead, 239 injured! My heart goes out to the families of the victim’s of the horrible attack in Istanbul. While the details and those responsible are still emerging, the terror that these kinds of acts inflict ripples throughout the world, continually keeping the world on the edge of fear, division, and pain. While those in the wake of the blast in Istanbul were struck by debris flying from the bombers, the world’s emotions are set on edge from the shockwaves from the blast. Again today, it looks like terror is winning. The temptation is to give in to our fear and anger, and strike back in violent ways and yet, our faith, which is informed by the ways of Jesus revealed in the Gospels, calls for another response. I am not saying we should not feel angry or fearful, but how we respond to those emotions is a reflection of the authenticity of our embrace of the teachings of Jesus. For example, the Gospel lesson that I am working on for Sunday’s sermon is the first commissioning of the 70 disciples to go out into the world to spread the news of the reign of god breaking into the world. Jesus’ commissioning included both warning and instruction: “I’m sending you out as lambs among wolves. Carry no wallet, no provisions, not even sandals.” While it is a strange commissioning, it underscores the risk and vulnerability that is inherent within our faith tradition.