There was a horrific shooting at an elementary school again this week. Three children and three adults were killed. In the aftermath, there has been handwringing, disparagement, accusations, ridicule, blaming, and so much vitriol.
I agree with those who say that the assurance of “thoughts and prayers” in such a time often feels like empty sentiment.
We pray to God for an end to violence, but God works through us. If we are unwilling to do what it takes to stop the violence, our prayers are but hollow ones.
It seems long ago that I stood with colleagues in Fairfax, Virginia outside the headquarters of the NRA (National Rifle Association) at a vigil for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, FL. It was February 16, 2018.
I sincerely thought Parkland would be a turning point. But since then, 103 people have been killed and 281 people injured from school shootings.
This week we will hear once again what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Jesus was arrested, one of his disciples reacted with violence. He cut off the ear of a high priest’s slave. Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath.” (John 18:11)
Put your sword back into its sheath.
Couldn’t we just try with the guns?