We need Jesus.
As I’ve been trying to think and pray and make sense of the tragic massacre that happened in Connecticut on December 14th I can’t shake this painful awareness that we need Jesus!!
(Photo credit: Unknown… Google Image Search)
I’ve seen the write ups calling for better gun control in the US and others saying that we need better mental health facilities and awareness. Don’t get me wrong, I think those are issues that are in great need of attention… But gun registry doesn’t stop what happened. Better social services doesn’t fix the mess we’re in… We need Jesus.
Things are messy. This world is broken. This world is dark. The shooting in Newtown is tragic in every way, but unfortunately it’s not a one-of-a-kind. We’ve heard of more shootings in public places than we can handle, we read of thousands of children dying EVERY DAY of malnutritionment and lack of clean water… This world is broken. It’s dark.
I’m not going to try to suggest I know how to fix it or that I have a solution to any of these travesties, but I think we’d all agree… Something ain’t right!
I’ve found some encouragement in the realization that I’m not the only person who feels this way. Clearly I look around and I see that we all agree… But most importantly, He agrees. If we think that Jesus is anything less than heart broken and really angry then I don’t think we know Jesus.
I’m not talking about needing more religion. Same as these polarized political debates won’t bring us light, more religion will just continue to tear us apart. The last thing we need is religious hatred blaming this tragedy on someone else’s immorality!
But Jesus!!! Jesus IS light. Jesus IS life.
Jesus saw the brokenness and the devastation that this world was in and He traded in his God-card and humbled himself and showed us what life COULD look like if we put others needs before our own, if we turn from our selfish ways, if we turn to our Creator and give Him our very lives.
This is why He came.
This world is dark. There is EVIL and wickedness hidden in every dark corner. As much as I don’t want to say it… The root of wickedness and selfishness that drove the shooter to do his work yesterday is the same root of wickedness and selfishness that lurks in the corners of my heart, pushing me to be arrogant, pushing me to care more about what I want more than the needs of my family, leading me to justify any rank of deceitfulness that I may think “doesn’t hurt anyone.”
To be clear, I’m not saying that me being selfish is on par with someone shooting up an elementary school and taking the lives of over a dozen children. But the root of evil is evil. Darkness is darkness. Absence of light is darkness.
But this is why He came!!
Jesus is light. Jesus is THE Light. The true light that gives light to every man has come into the world. (John 1:9)
We need Jesus. Not more religious or moralistic weight put on our shoulders, but the freedom and the life and joy that comes in Knowing Jesus Christ!!
The irony is that in times of tragedy some people try to blame Jesus for what has happened. Thinking that perhaps it’s his fault, that He sits idle, watching these tragedies unfold. I wonder about that too. I don’t know what to do with the reality that He is an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God yet these things continue to take place. I really can’t explain how I find peace in who He is in these times. But it seems pretty ridiculous for me to think that I can blame God, as if somehow I have better answers or plans or solutions than He does! Seems pretty presumptuous to think that somehow if only God would listen to me, the world would be a better place.
I can’t explain why this would happen or if or why God would “let” this happen (if it even works that way). But what I feel like I can say in pretty certain terms is that Jesus is more heartbroken by the hurts in our world than I will ever understand. Especially as it relates to children… Jesus says that His Kingdom belongs to children (Matt 19:14) and says that if anyone harms a child, it’d be better for that person to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matt 18:6)!
So if we need Jesus, what does that look like? Do we need more Jesus BFF TShirts or bumper stickers? Probably not.
Jesus says that if we want to find our life we need to lose it. That if we lose our life for his sake we will truly find it (Matt 10:39).
The stuff of Jesus’ Way might be hard, but if we want life, and REAL LIFE, life that respects others and draws people together in love and humility more than it drives people apart and drives people to hate then we must turn from our wicked ways, humble ourselves and pray and seek His face ( 1 Chronicles 7:14)!
Jesus says that we should pray for our enemies. That rather than seeking vengeance when wronged that we submit ourselves further. Jesus says that to give is better than to receive. He says that we shouldn’t be too quick to see the flaws of others and neglect our own. He says that we should pray, inviting Jesus’ to do his will here on earth, as it is in heaven. Which by the way is void of tears, mourning and death (Rev 21:4)!! He says that we should ALWAYS love, love our enemies even!
Seems hard to believe that if we truly sought to live His Way that there’d be much room for these tragedies.
I can recall few moments in my life when it has been so unequivocally clear that we need Jesus!
I need to step up and let His light shine through me in every way I can! I can’t fix the world and keep tragedies from happening, but I can love my family, my neighbours, even seek to show love to strangers! I can seek first Jesus and His Kingdom and trust that in His Kingdom there is no shame, there is confidence, there is peace, there is joy, He is Hope!
And I can pray!
I can spend myself, face to the ground, seeking Jesus’ face, asking that He would move in me, move in this world, to bring his Kingdom, his Reign here on earth! That He would raise up a generation who seeks His face, who loves recklessly, who turns from the patters of this world and are transformed into His likeness with EVERY INCREASING GLORY!
I can pray for the broken hearted. I can love and listen and serve those around me who are crushed in spirit. I can pray that somehow, in these moments of immeasurable pain, that Jesus’ peace, a peace that transcends understanding, would be tangible in every way. I can pray that Jesus would make His presence known, that those who are weary and burdened would know the rest that Jesus has for them.
I can seek to speak truth, seek to be an ambassador and a model of the trueness of Jesus.. the man who was not concerned about religious right and passage but who simply loved, loving those who seemed most distant. The man who was a friend of sinners. The man whom the religious elite hated.
I can pray for those who have heard a version of the gospel that spoke condemnation and hatred and not love and acceptance. Who have seen a form of godliness void of the power of Jesus and have given up.
I can trust. Trust that even when I can’t make sense of the mess we’re in, that Jesus is the author of Life. That Jesus is the Hope of the world. That Jesus is the King of kings, the Lord of lords.
I can rest. I can rest in the security that Jesus has triumphed and is Victorious. That death could not hold Him back. That He has conquered sin and death! And though there is a “not yet” to seeing His reign in its fullness that there is a completeness to his Triumph over wickedness!
I can worship. I can choose to agree that Jesus is who He says He is and that His ways are better than my ways and that His wisdom makes our wisdom look like foolishness. I can declare that He is worthy! Worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!
Yes, we need Jesus! I need Jesus!
Your will be done, Lord. On earth, here, now!
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4