“…with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…” Eph. 1:18
The news this morning from England is devastating. Once again, an act of inhumanity has taken innocent lives and left a community wounded. Although, the community affected is the world and the common characteristics we share are a sense of vulnerability, frustration and sadness. Vulnerability, because we cannot stop these acts from happening. Frustration with the level of hatred for life these acts express. Sadness might be too sedate a word, but it reflects how these attacks drain any sense of joy from life. Particularly disturbing was the target of this attack, teenage girls.
It may come to bear that ISIS and members of radical Islam are responsible for this attack. A part of me wonders if it matters. Our eyes tend to focus on this issue with incredible clarity. The problem is we become blinded to the other entities in the world promoting similar acts of violence. Unfortunately, everyday there are governments, organizations and individuals inflicting acts of terror on innocent victims. The news reports 22 people died in this attack. Today, in the United States, 44 people will be murdered. A staggering figure, despite violent crime being statistically low.
Culturally, we feed ourselves a steady diet of violence. Murder is the most reliable form of entertainment on television and in the entertainment industry as a whole. We seek to teach children appropriate responses to bullying. Yet, almost all responses we teach them outside the classroom are violent.
Am I helping you feel good about life yet? Every age is confronted with the impulse to act violently. Each generation of people have some threat of hatred, death and violence to confront. This was as true of the culture Jesus and his disciples lived in as any. In Ephesians, the author invites the reader to live differently. To assume a lifestyle which transforms a world of violence into one of joy.
The Christian is supposed to open the eyes of their heart. It helps them discover how to live more compassionately. When we live more compassionately, we discover how to be a source of hope in a world bent on robbing you of it. The problem is not that the world is more violent. It’s that it is less hopeful. Today, open the eyes of your heart to see the hope to which you have been called. It’s a powerful tool against violence.
Click to read: Ephesians 1: 11-23
- How do you emotionally respond to these acts of violence?
- How does it affect your sense of hope?
- Where do you discover hope in the midst of your daily life?
- What does it look like to live in hope?
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