Monday, December 14, 2015


The three-inch, bold-faced type used for the headline on the front page of the New York Daily News, in the wake of the most recent mass shooting by Muslim extremists in San Bernardino, CA, caught my eye and shocked my sensibilities as a pastor.  It read, “God Isn’t Fixing This!”  The article was an expression of frustration by the editorial staff at – politicians’ habit of offering, what the writers called, ‘banal thoughts and prayers’ to the victims while opposing any kind of policy response [like gun control].  The words of Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan were all quoted… encouraging prayers for the victims and their families.  Even Hillary Clinton tweeted similar lines after the church shooting in Charleston, SC.  She wrote, “Heartbreaking news from Charleston – my thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
Now to be fair, I imagine the angry headline was not prompted so much because of tacit disapproval of the encouragement of ‘thoughts and prayers’ for victims and their families as much as it was exploiting yet another opportunity for a strong push by ‘liberals’ for gun control.  But clearly, the headline is humanistic.  It puts the solutions for our problems entirely on us.  It communicates that we the people have to fix it… if it is going to be fixed.  The assumption is that if we propose, pass and enforce the right laws, we can keep these bad things from happening… that submission to God, as evidenced by our humble prayers, is a waste of time and energy… so let’s keep God confined to our temples, cathedrals and churches.  The implication is that He isn’t willing or able to intervene in such matters… that the way we fix this is independent of God… that God is irrelevant. 
But, the truth is that God is both willing and able to fix anything that is wrong in our nation and in our personal lives.  However, He is a Gentleman.  He seldom intrudes where He is not welcomed.
God can and will move to bring order where there is chaos, peace where there is conflict and unity where there is division.  But, the healing He can bring is conditional upon humility [admission that we cannot do it without Him], prayer [asking Him for answers and guidance] and repentance [turning from our sin and walking in righteous obedience].  Here is the precept and precedent straight from the Bible… 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  The key word in this text is the first one in the verse… ‘If...’  His capacity to bless us is only limited by our unbelief and our un-brokenness before Him.
Pray with me… Father God, we are finite and You are infinite; we are fallible and You are infallible; we are impotent and You are omnipotent.  We confess our ignorance and we acknowledge your wisdom.  We know that our human wisdom is foolishness.  And so we come before you in humility, asking for healing for our land and in our lives, committing once again to renounce unrighteousness and walk in Your truth and life.  In Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

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