It sure seems that we’ve arrived at time and place when things seem to be spiraling out of control. In the musical words of the late Marvin Gaye, indeed, “What’s going on?” Sadly (or reassuringly), there is a constant and consistent theme. Well over two millennia ago the poet was moved by what was happening and (I envision) shook his fist at the sky and screamed, “How long will the wicked—oh, Lord!— how long will the wicked win?” His lament preceded guns (with or without associated laws of responsibility) and flags flying over civic buildings having bifurcated meaning.
I appreciate the take yesterday by Jon Stewart on the shooting at the AME Church in Charleston. Dialogue is good and Stewart brought up some good and valid points. What I missed was any address of the underlying (systemic) problem and a solution. He himself predicted that the eventual end of this tragedy fits neatly into the narratives produced in response to other recent events that were observed, talked about, lamented-over and moved away from to spend time on the next tragedy du jour, cat video or Hollywood-inspired topic.
I look forward to that day “when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end.” In the mean time, all of us, “all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics” must continue to watch, work and pray. As Sean Connery gasped his final words to Kevin Costner as he clutched his lapels in the Untouchables, “What are you prepared to do about it?”
Let’s pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Washington DC and Charleston, South Carolina.
A p-k (preacher’s kid), Mark is the eighth of nine children born to Reuben and Henrietta Meeks, prolific planters of nearly 30 churches throughout the Central Valley of California. After four decades of teaching, discipling, and ministering, including to the hospitalized and imprisoned, Mark responded to God’s call to pastoral ministry. In addition to degrees in civil engineering and public administration, Mark received his Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary.