A Waiting Kingdom
I will appoint Peace as your overseer and Righteousness as your taskmaster. Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. Isaiah 60: 17-18
In the week following the Parkland school shooting, we have continued to see images of students, parents, and teachers connected to Parkland and other school shootings. These include images from the day of the shooting, and of the survivors speaking out for political change. One image has stuck with me is of a mother crying with the ashes from an earlier church service prominent on her forehead. As we enter into the season of Lent, we are reminded of our mortality. We are reminded of the faults and violence that exist in our world, and the desperate need we have for Christ. As Christians, we celebrate Christ’s resurrection as Lent concludes with Easter. This is also a celebration of the establishment of the Kingdom of God that is now and is yet to come. Meaning we are challenged to act towards establishing peace the world now, even as we wait for the return of Christ that will bring about the fullness of this kingdom. The recent school shooting joins other mass shootings as a heartbreaking tragedy, indicating how far we are from the kingdom established through Christ’s resurrection. We see violence on a mass scale that stems from our lack of attention towards mental illness and gun control. Regardless of politics, it is clear that there is a perpetual problem of mass violence, indicating the need for our faith to lead us towards acting on the peace Christ offers us. It is important that in the midst of our grief, we follow the example of the Parkland survivors. We are called to listen to where the Holy Spirit is moving us, and to act now. To take a stand on what we believe will guide us towards peace. Doing what we can to fulfill and share God’s promise that we are given in Isaiah.