Geneology

Dear Family,

We woke up today hoping that the shootings at the Naval Yards in Washington DC was a dream. When we heard verification from the media that is was reality, our hearts sank. 

The most peculiar thing I have heard about the shootings came from a member of the accused shooter's family. The source said, "The accused shooter was never the same after he assisted with the rescue effort on 9-11-01."  How could it be that the wounds of someone causes them to lash out and commit a similar offense? If you see a great atrocity don’t you want to do all you can to prevent that from happening again in the future?   Yet is that not the pattern. Sin seems all too often to set off the human response of  “now I want to seek revenge or bring violence.” Sin brings more sin. When darkness breeds more darkness evil flourishes. We are it seems catapulted into a hopeless spiral. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Darkness cannot push back darkness, only light can push away the darkness."

I use to see the genealogies in scripture and skip over them in a hurried fashion. Places like Matthew 1:1-11 or Luke 3:23-38 seemed like the boring guest list of some else’s family reunion. Then it  was brought to my attention that in those genealogies is the work of the gospel.  Generation to generation the gospel finds its purpose and mission. Just as evil works to pass along darkness through wounds, the gospel is passed along from one generation to the next in the capacity to forgive heal and above all love. Both Matthew and Luke anchor their genealogies in Jesus.  Only through the love, mercy, grace and forgiveness of Jesus can healing and hope break the bonds of  our sinful  genealogical links. Through Jesus old ways can be cast off -- a new generation can begin!

So now we mourn. We wonder how often will this happen. We have been here before -- Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon, on and on.  They are “shooting again at the innocent Lord…” (Psalm 11) . We can dwell in the darkness and grow ever angry and bitter.  Or we can ask in the midst of the darkness to be part of the light.  For the light is the only force that can push back the darkness and offer Jesus love to the generation before us.

Pray this day that Jesus presence in your genealogy is made known.

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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