Death and Violence in the Cemetery


Early this past week I was walking our dog in the cemetery when I came across some scattered grey and white feathers.  I thought, “An owl or hawk has been at work on a pigeon.”  Further on, three cawing crows perched on tall tombstones.  They believed they had one of our local air born predators in their sights to harass.

What a metaphor for the death and violence we have seen in Barcelona and Charlottesville, Virginia.  Yesterday, the bodies of four people, man, woman, her 20-year-old and a Ten-year-old boy were found murdered in their north St. Louis County home.  This was not murder-suicide.

Are we not made a little less than the angels? (Psalm 8:4) Yet, the blood of Cain runs through our human veins.  Are we not saved by Jesus Christ, who died and shed his blood on the cross?  Yet, we seem to be children of those who cried “Crucify him.”

What an abomination that some use the cross and torches as their banner of hatred and violence toward their fellow human beings.  What utter ignorance of history and an insult to the creator/savior God that some would raise the banner of a swastika the Nazi’s as their hope.  Have white nationalists ever studied their own genealogy? Home grown terrorism is bearing its awful fruit.

And then an internet headline wants me to care that Kim Kardashian went braless in a tank top and joggers.

Then Becky interrupted my writing and asked me to sit out on the front patio with Adam while she went grocery shopping.  Out there, a neighbor returned from jogging, another mowed his lawn.  High in the blue sky a jet cruised while below 4 hawks (?) playfully circled on invisible air currents.  As I sat with a cup of coffee starting a new book, I noticed some ripening tomatoes on the vine and out of planter populated with dead marigolds eight new self -seeded plants had sprouted.

And I remembered that during world War ii, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, even while in prison, found opportunity to offer God’s love and grace to his guards.  Helmut Thielicke continued to preach on the Lord’s Prayer in July 1944 as allied bombs destroyed his church and the city of Stuttgart, Germany.

Psalm 8 begins, and ends with, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”  Tomorrow we gather in the name of our majestic triune God.  We will hear, “But my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed. (Is. 51:6) And in Matt 16:16, Peter will confess, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Cross burning and Swastika bearing idiots will perish, but the Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, will lead to eternal life for all who trust in him.  Such is the nature of God’s patience, love and grace.


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