I have friends from so many different backgrounds. I have white friends, black friends, Chinese friends, Mexican friends, and Russian friends. I have friends who live in Hawaii, friends who live in Africa, and friends who live in South America. I have gay friends, straight friends, Christian pastor friends, Muslim friends, and atheist friends.
For a brief moment last Friday, all of my friends and I were united. There was unspeakable grief, shock, and horror as we watched the news reports of the tragedy unfold before our eyes.
But the unity didn’t last.
As soon as the shock wore off and anger became the dominant emotion, we all started looking to find where we could place the blame. Since that time the arguments have been as diverse as my list of friends:
- This happened because there are too many guns.
- This happened because it was a gun-free zone.
- This happened because there is no prayer in school.
- This happened because there is too much emphasis on religion and not enough on science and mental health issues.
And the list goes on and on as everyone desperately tries to find who to blame, who is the enemy.
And during all of this the true Enemy slinks away and heads to his next target. He will prowl around, waiting to kill and destroy. The Enemy is fully aware that not only did he captivate the mind of one young man and use him to kill 28 people and destroy countless lives last Friday, but he also stirred up endless arguments, hatred, selfishness, and blame.
Christians are fighting with Christians. Jews are fighting with Jews. Muslims are fighting with Muslims.
And the Enemy is smiling, disguising himself in beauty and light, and moving on to the next victims.
I am a follower of Jesus. And right now I am asking my fellow followers of Jesus to remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12.
Obama is not the enemy. The NRA is not the enemy. Guns are not the answer. Legislation is not the answer.
Evil did not enter the world on Friday morning. On Friday morning the Enemy took of his mask for a brief moment and reminded us that he is actively working in our world, doing what he does best.
So let us be united.
Let us unite in prayer and seeking the Lord.
Let us unite in drawing close to Jesus, and asking Him to be reflected in our actions and words.
Let us remember that our citizenship is in Heaven.
Let us remember that we have been given the task of drawing others to Jesus.
And let us remember what Jesus prayed for us. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21.