Making Sense of the Noise
There’s a lot of noise and confusion going around.
- Orlando, Florida– night club shooting. 49 dead.
- Paul, Minneapolis—a young male shot and killed at a traffic stop.
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana—a 37 year old man shot and killed by police in a convenience store.
- Dallas, Texas—a sniper killed 5 policeman.
- Nice, France—a man drove a truck through the Bastille Day celebration and killed 84 and injuring over 200.
- Istanbul, Turkey—an attempted coup of the government is averted with an uncertain death toll.
These events have all taken place in a matter of weeks. The acceleration of events makes one wonder: “Is it getting worse, and is it getting worse faster?” It leads to questions of “what’s next?” And it raises the question of “will it happen closer to me the next time?”
How do we make sense of all this tragedy? All of this confusion? What does it mean? There is nothing to suggest that the events from Orlando to Istanbul connected.
But perhaps they are connected?
Each of the events represents a basic unhappiness of the human soul. They represent a certain turmoil and tragedy of our society at large. It represents a disorder, a lack of congruity. When the rights of individuals triumph over the common good, we’ll have trouble.
In a similar time, in a similar way, Jesus spoke into this situation. Jesus knew that he would die at the hands of an angry mob, which cared little for justice. This mob carried the image of societal order while lifting the cross of persecution. The whip of injustice would be flayed upon his back and his friends would watch him die an agonizing death. He prepared them for the events ahead with these simple words:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
It’s not without coincidence that Jesus spoke of peace. A life of sacrifice and generosity pointed us toward a better way and ultimately a better day.