The Aftermath of the Bombings in Beruit and Paris Last Week

We worked hard to capture some sort of message, for Sunday, moving forward after the bombings in Beirut and Paris last week.  As a pastor … challenging to offer words given the deep strains of grief and fear so many of us share after events like these.

The final point, one worthy of consideration … we must embrace a theology of vulnerability and see humanity.

That sounds odd but I think that is Christ’s message in times of such fear.  Our vulnerability in some miraculous way pulls us down into a shared humanity. I think of how easy it was to share stories with strangers on 9/11, how easy to hug friends after Newtown.  The list goes on.  And with each … our vulnerabiliy opens up to our humanity.  The two intertwine.  A miracle.

The opposites works as well.  As we faultingly strive to create lives that are invulnerable, totally secure, impervious to change and challenge, we pull ourselves further from our own humanity and from the humanity we share with others. Such is one of the inborn fault lines within religious fundamentalism/ extremism.  Fundamentalism thrives in certainty, inflexibility, and a supposed invulnerability to question or challenge that makes it all the more dangerous because with those go humanity.

Fear at some point becomes a choice.  And so does love.  So does compassion. Even when our hearts are broken.



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2 Responses to “The Aftermath of the Bombings in Beruit and Paris Last Week”

  1. Steve Tinari says:

    If you walk through the woods – the deep woods – you will have an overwhelming sense of peace and of calm. Agree? That feeling can change in an instant. Image that same walk and you find yourself between a mother grizzly and her cubs. That peace and calm suddenly turns into a fight or flight for your very life. This situation is at the very heart of natural response. The bear doesn’t hate you. The bear doesn’t care. The bear is doing what comes naturally and likely you will lose this battle. The matter is that you unknowingly provoked the bear. Either way – intentional or not – you will get the same response. Our human compassion makes a distinction here. If someone UNINTENTIONALLY provokes you, you will react – but not like the bear. If someone INTENTIONALLY provokes you, your response will likely be much more severe – more punishing. Introduce God into this scenario. Our consideration of God and his plan varies depending on the individual. There will be elements of the bear and human compassion in each of us. The terrorist attacks are INTENTIONAL. They are designed to provoke a response. They prey on the absence of God as we know him. They will claim their actions are in the name of their God but they are not. It is the absence of God – their God, our God, God. We are not the bear but the spirit of the bear is still within us.

  2. Peter Rienstra says:

    I wonder if many people have turned away from God in our world today like the Israelites did several times . When this happens, Evil has a way of rising up . In this time, Americans have forgotten the Constitution of our forefathers and turned away from God and lost our leadership roll and respect of the world and the evil radicals on their rampage all over . World War II was about Stopping the evil takeover and I think maybe the good people must ask for God ‘s help and leadership to end what is evil today
    as best we can.. I do not think sitting back and being passive is going to help . I think we must take a stand and fight like Israel had to do.

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