Spiritual Murder

What do we do when all we hear about is death on the news?  What do we do when we see our children practicing lockdown drills in school?

We need to act... but where do we begin?



do you know what a lockdown drill is a lockdown drills kids probably no parents hopefully no I learned I didn't know I didn't know what this was until this past week I was reading a bedtime story to my three-year-old daughter Alexa and in the middle of the story she interrupted like she usually does and she told me dad today at school we had a practice something and I said oh what did you practice we practiced hiding and being quiet in case a bad man comes to my school my heart skipped a beat you know when she said that you know because I know when I heard the stories and I've heard see the news and I could see the look of sadness in her eyes and worry why would a bad man come to her school cuz that that was in my heart and literally the next moment she looks at me and says dad how would a bad man come to my school they're not supposed to be there her question hit me square in the chest it still does and I don't know whether to cry to cry with her or to get angry with the world she is right bad men do not belong at her daycare and I wish I knew or had the power to stop from that from ever happening in despair when we don't know the answers when we don't know what to do or how to do it we should turn to the scriptures and this Sunday's gospel passage gave me pause because this Sunday's gospel passage is a challenge to us all today's passage comes from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew which is famously known as Jesus a Sermon on the Mount it is a passage in which if ever you need to be lifted up if ever you needed to be encouraged if ever you needed to know the way of life it is to read this sermon that Jesus gave on the Mount as he sat in front of the multitude and this Sunday we read the passage from the 21st verse of this chapter and in this reading today we hear Jesus say you have heard that has been said of those that we have heard that it was said to those of old you shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of judgment but I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment jesus takes the well-known commandment of God that God gave to Moses thou shalt not kill and makes it much harder to follow it in our very legal society right we are all about doing the minimum to follow the law for example when we drive and I'm probably guilty of this this morning we all often go 5 to 10 miles above the speed limit right but the second we see the police car we slow down 5 to 10 miles below the speed limit because we are afraid of receiving the punishment a ticket right to extend that analogy Jesus is technically saying that you should receive a ticket for even thinking about speeding don't even think about speeding not that Jesus what he's talking about is anger is not only about committing the act of killing someone Jesus is telling us that the anger that motivates murder will make us liable for judgment he tells us in this passage whoever calls someone Rock cop which you know raqami means recalled is a Jewish curse word which is for someone say calling one stupid man honey here you saying it because scriptures say don't say this Jesus says don't say this because guess what if you call someone rock I'll or stupid it's an allergy you're guilty if you call someone a fool you're guilty if you badmouth someone and speak wrong of someone if you get angry and have in your heart deceit or anger or hatred then we are guilty you know what we are guilty of real guilty as equal to murder so doesn't that make us all guilty if we say that to be angry and to get angry and to get upset and to get to speak wrong of other people then there's not one person in here including myself that is not guilty we are all guilty of that sin we may not have physically killed anyone but we have all spiritually killed each other we have been angry with our family members we have been angry with our friends we've angry with our neighbors and even our strangers we carry animosity and anger in our hearts and Jesus tells us no that's not acceptable for his followers the way of life is love forgiveness and repentance and we should not come before God without first we should not come before God we should have come before God without first reconciling with anyone we have trouble with we are called to forgive to repent to love today's message is simple if we are not part of the solution then we are part of the problem and there is a big problem in this world bombs are being packaged and sent to political enemies men with guns freely enter public places and yesterday a man entered a synagogue in Pittsburgh to spread death you know what he was preaching death that's what he was preaching we can't preach the same message what are we doing if we are not living in love if we are not if we are spreading our anger if we are cursing others if you're talking bad about others if we are spreading hate then we are not living the way we should we are carrying the same message of that Gunmen hatred let us try and try and try and try to remove the anger from our hearts let us try to love each other and let us try to be part of the solution you know what that solution is Jesus Christ because honestly it's impossible it's impossible that's why I say try and try and try because we will get angry and the thing is we have to fight fight to not spread to not allow that anger or that hatred or that that evil to take root in our hearts we have to fight in the only weapon we have to fight is Christ love focus on him my brothers and sisters our hearts will be filled with a radical love that we need to endure these troubling times let us pray for peace for joy and for love to fill our hearts this day and every day all glory and honor to the father to the son