Mark 6:27-28 (NIV)
27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.
Luke 12:4-7 (MSG)
4-5 “I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
6-7 “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
The picture I used for the “Eye for an I Won’t” blog upset some people. I’m sorry it was upsetting. I’m struggling to communicate the world we’re really living in. Whether it’s the neighbor getting beaten by her husband, the child getting molested, the father gunned down by a stray bullet, the person murdered for their faith, the minority persecuted because they want freedom, the young girl kidnapped and sold into sex slavery, the addict begging for change on the corner, on and on and on. Evil – it’s real and all around us. If not in our home, then next door, or down the block, or across the city, or across…. It’s out there. It’s very, very real for the people in it. I hope that it’s more than a picture, that it brings out some of the emotion the parties involved are feeling, that the level of empathy increases to the point where it’s no longer acceptable for you to sit still. We can do something about it. Yes, it’s a challenge. Doing nothing is not acceptable if we want change.
We live in a broken world and the brokenness is all around us. An eye for an eye doesn’t work. Subjugation doesn’t work. Standing quietly on the sidelines or sitting quietly in the pews doesn’t work. The only thing that works is getting dirty, going out and making a difference. We can’t be The Light when we cover the light.
If you’re sitting quietly on the sidelines, comfortable in your salvation, I want to challenge you to do more to right the wrongs we have here by following the radical message of Christ. Love, love and love. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love your stranger. Love as an action word, not passive. Invest in something that isn’t yours. Make a difference so that we can begin to push back the darkness.
Be the light.