Here We Go Again

We were in the middle of our staff meeting Monday afternoon, when my phone beeped a text message. It was from Karen: “Bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.” Everyone around the table grabbed their phone, as with the rest of the nation we watched the first pictures from the marathon finish line. The orange explosion—twice, just a block apart. The surreal pause. Then mayhem. And now the casualty count this morning—3 dead, 183 injured, 13 amputations. Our hearts and prayers reach out to Boston and the grieving families. But haven’t we dreamed this nightmare before? “Déjà vu all over again.” And yet, have you noticed, our shock levels seem a tad depressed? Granted, 9-11 was a tragedy of epic proportions. But the steady drum beat of subsequent global terrorist acts—London, Madrid, Bombay, Kabul, Baghdad, Jerusalem—has beaten down our once painful sensitivity. Add to the international carnage this past year’s twin tragedies in our own homeland—the mass killings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown Connecticut—and it may explain a collective freezing or at least diminishing of our emotional acuity. The repetition of evil numbs our perception of it and depresses our response to it. After all, how many times in a row can the human heart be triggered by inconsolable grief? “‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7) What would Christ say to Boston, to our nation, to the world? What word from Him could assuage our pain, our fears? Would it be a healing word for our beaten emotions? Or is there any healing left for us? If as is evident our civilization is retrograding—if this steady drum beat is but a harbinger of that which is to come—then does it not follow that those who hear Christ most clearly (His followers, His disciples, His friends) will be His Kingdom’s most natural frontline to advance a word of hope and promise in the midst of this emotional carnage? Wouldn’t it follow that beyond educating our young, our most significant resources should be invested in communicating the healing word of Jesus to as many alive today as possible? In every nation on earth? What if we raised up a generation of young, within this generation of earth, to be trained, equipped and mobilized to personally take that message of healing into this world? Today. The GYC and AYC movements, and other such similar spin-offs, may yet prove to be the godsend the church has been languishing for. Otherwise, if the institutional church simply keeps processing its young through its universities, with degrees but minus the passion and equipping of radical young disciples, what have we done to advance the Kingdom agenda in a society now desperate with fear and hopeless confusion? At some point, somebody is going to say, Enough is enough. God help it to be you.

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