The time for silence is over.

 

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On December 16, 2012 there was a powerful prayer service held at the Washington National Cathedral in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Dean, Gary Hall, preached “Enough is enough. As followers of Jesus, we have the moral obligation to stand for and with the victims and to work to end it. We have tolerated school shootings, mall shootings, theater shootings, sniper shootings, workplace shootings, temple and church shootings, urban neighborhood shootings far too long… The gun lobby is strong but it is no match for the cross lobby.”

On the day after the slaughter in Oregon, as our prayers go out to the victims and their families, it feels like the gun lobby is winning.

According to VOX, yesterday was the latest in 986 mass shootings in the United States since Sandy Hook (a mass shooting is defined as one in which four or more people are shot.)

It feels like the gun lobby is winning.

But we have been here before. After the death of Jesus, it felt like all was lost. The great dream of the Kingdom of God seemed over. Even the Resurrection of Jesus did not restore hope at first. In Mark’s Gospel, after the disciples are told at the empty tomb that Jesus is risen and they should go and tell this good news, they scatter.  “They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid (Mark 16:8).” The Gospel ends there.

We know they overcame their fear at Pentecost and began a movement that went out to all the world. Although our churches throughout history have been (and continue to be) deeply flawed, the Jesus Movement is still the greatest expression of mercy, compassion and hope the world has ever seen.

It feels like the gun lobby is winning.

The Church offers sincere prayer-filled moments of silence for the victims, but the time for silence is over.

Let’s get behind our President who says “there is a gun for roughly every man, woman and child in America. So how can you with a straight face make the argument that more guns make us safer?”

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Have you contacted your representatives in Congress?  Have you used your freedom and your faith to move the mountain of indifference?  It’s not too late to make your voice heard.

In Massachusetts we have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but we can do better. Ask your elected representatives why the proposal to limit the purchase of guns to “one gun per person per month” was voted down even though that would reduce gun trafficking.

Some studies show that the vast majority of NRA members want universal back ground checks.

If you are an NRA member, why are you being silent on this? Why do you let the Wayne LaPierres of the world speak for you?

I want to believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby, and that people of faith can make a difference. Another moment of silent prayer will not make it so. It’s time to make noise. Proclaim God’s dream of nonviolence. Proclaim it boldly and with endless hope.

+Doug