I was listening to WSB radio on my drive into work this morning. Neal Bortz shared a story that was focused on violence and he ended his commentary asking, "When are we going to address the culture of violence?" Being a disciple of Christ, I said an "Amen" to his rhetorical question. I hardly finished my "Amen" when a commercial began to play. It was targeted towards commuters who are stuck in traffic on our roadway messes. The commercial promoted audio books for your slow ride to and from work so I was getting ready to say another "Amen" because we can all us some relief in traffic.
Suddenly the audio book's narrator next words were the confessions of an assassin who had just killed a man! Neal Bortz gets it right by saying we need to address the culture of violence while seconds later his host radio station and their commercial sponsor glamorize violence. You can't make this stuff up!
Violence is so embedded in our culture that it is a marketing tool to get us listening and watching. On the ride home from work the night before I was listening to sports radio and the commentator asked us about the Falcon's match-up with the Seahawks. "What scared you about the game and who do you hate?" We can dismiss this as rivalry talk or perhaps it's a slick way to keep us listening.
"When are we going to address the culture of violence?"
Jesus' life can be understood as God's way of addressing the culture of violence. The times of Jesus' life were extremely violent, but our Lord was the embodiment of God's Word and according to God's Word, God is love. When you were an outcast, Jesus invited you in. When you were put-down, Jesus lifted you up. When violence and evil thought they had their way with Jesus, he died and then rose above the culture of violence to become Lord of Lord and King of Kings.
On this Martin Luther King holiday focus on this simple yet profound teaching of Jesus:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
Prayer for Today
Bring peace into our world, O Lord, and make us instruments of your peace. Amen.