We are shaken by mourning as we hurt for those suffering due to the horrific events in Aurora Colorado on July 20. Yet even in our mourning the political and social debates have already begun to light up the air waves. And I am reminded of a most sobering reality.
No government, regardless of how strong or well-meaning can thoroughly legislate morality. To be sure, it can create laws that limit behaviors destructive to society (“You shall not steal”). But as a Christ-follower I am led to believe that what will bring lasting and systemic change is Jesus (“You shall have no other gods before Me”). And I do not mean in some ambiguous immeasurable way. I mean by how He lived–bringing peace through a life of sacrificial love that paves the way toward a humanity invited to live for a cause greater than self. His life gives breadth and depth to both how and why He died and was risen. It is His life, death, resurrection and ascension as Lord that makes possible eternal realities in our present world; God’s love, righteousness and peace, indeed God Himself, accessible to all of humanity in tangible ways. It makes these eternal realities present because it is a life that follows Jesus as Lord out of hatred into sacrificial love; out of violence into peace; out of judgment into mercy; out of darkness into light. Jesus as Lord and Creator shows us what kind of life really works when God is King.
The events of July 20 remind us that there is too much godless, dehumanizing, hatred and injustice in the world filled with lost hearts for Christ-followers to lose this focus. Too much is at stake to be tangled up (key point) in various debates (even the worthwhile ones). If Jesus truly is King of kings and the only hope for the world, we must live like it as everyday people in every day places in every day ways. As Christ-followers our lives must be the proof of our theology. Not just our words or persuasive arguments. For what cannot be up for debate is that “faith without works is dead” and the world will know us by our love. (James 2:14-26; John 13:35).
So we must go. Go into the public square, the city streets, the cubicle next to yours, your neighbor’s house, your child’s bedroom, and tell the story of the One who brought peace through sacrificial love, and not through violence. Offer them Jesus the Son of God and Son of Man, not just a plan. If Christ-followers want lasting change in this present world, then we must tell His story because only it can shine a light on where true hope, restoration, redemption and salvation is found.
May His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. And may God’s comfort be known in the hearts of those suffering due to the brokenness and depravity of this rebellious world.