One of the ways we can grieve God is where we decide to put our faith and hope. Too often we put it in politicians, money, family members, education, and religion. Yesterday was the start of Holy Week, where the focus is to remember to put our faith and hope in Christ. Let me share a project the church where I am a member at is participating in that reminds us of this truth.
We all know there is a vibrant debate going on about gun control in our country. I pay attention to it and offer my 2 cents to the debate but I don’t put my hope in legislative solutions. For the record I am in favor of anything that keeps guns out of hands of people who obviously don’t need to have them. However my focus is on something much more important.
My hope is in Christ and his followers. For me the more important debate is what role could the Church play in being part of the gun control solution? The first role is to weep for the city.
While pundits are debating what to do and politicians drag their feet more people who don’t need to have a gun are getting them – which leads to more violence in our city streets – which leads to no peace for the city. That is what I care about and weep over. I think this is what Jesus weeps over too:
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” - Luke 19:41-44 (ESV)
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because he knew it was doomed. He knew the key to peace in the city was the ability of the spiritual leaders to accept him and his ways. He cried because those leaders chose to put their hope in something other than him. This rejection meant there would be no peace for those who lived there. Tragic.
After we weep we need to attempt to be part of the solution. My church is participating in a “Gifts for Guns” buy-back program. The campaign aims “to combat and address the senseless gun violence that is plaguing the city of Cincinnati,” according to a press release. We hope people show up to turn in guns in exchange for gift cards for things they need in their household.
So far in 2 previous neighborhoods over 200 guns were collected. But here is another thing that happens that rarely gets reported in the media. Oftentimes many of the people who show up at these events are also looking for spiritual help. That is one reason why police departments often team up with churches to do events like this.
Here is what I need from you blogosphere. Regardless of where you stand politically on the gun control issue, would you take some time this week to pray for this event? It takes place on Good Friday, March 29 at the River of Life Church. You can learn more about it here.