|English: St. John the Baptist Preaching by Anton Raphael Mengs. Now in the Eremitage, St. Petersburg. Oil on canvas, 208 x 153 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
What do we do now?
In the face of such needless, mindless, crazy evil - what do we do now?
Plenty of people are rushing to answer that question. 'Tis the season, actually.
The easy path is to embrace fear. We can be afraid of our neighbors, of our guns, of our inability to stop angry angry people. Being afraid causes us to rewrite laws, strike first, and basically live in a constant state of apprehension. We weren't created to embrace fear.
You'll find a lot of people in despair. Complete and utter inability to change the future. Gun laws? Won't change anything. Mental illness reform? There is just another one waiting to happen. Hopelessness is a serious problem (and one that is addressed with Christmas btw).
Hate. The culmination of our prejudices and pride. Somewhere in our twisted society hate became an appropriate form of productivity. We can easily hate those who are evil and decry their choices. This definitely comes naturally.
Fear. Despair. Hate. They are powerful and, ironically, the tools of those who would destroy us.
So.... what do we do now? John the Baptist would tell us to bear fruits worthy of repentance. Live into the evidence of the Kingdom of God and in this we prepare for Christ's coming.
I want to elaborate in the opposite direction of the terror we faced in Newtown. We need faith, hope, and love.
We need faith that God is not done with us or this world. We need to hold on to belief we aren't yet where God wants us and strive to get there. We need hope. Hope that God will save us. Because we need saving - not just from the Adam Lanza's of the world but from ourselves.
If we are going to pull any of this off - we will need love.
What do we do now? Love each other. Hope in God's saving work. Have faith that dispels all fear, despair, and hate.