Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Sad


I’m not going to lie.
This blog post almost did not get published today.
It would’ve been the first time in over a year and a half that I didn’t publish daily.

But here’s the issue.

I’m really sad today.

In the last 24 hours our nation has seen over 80 people shot in two incidents that happened within a few hours of each other. 30 were murdered in cold blood. Over 50 are wounded.
And I don’t understand it.
I don’t know why these things happen.
I woke up this morning to the news about the Dayton shooting on top of the El Paso shooting and realized I don’t know how to process this.

So I didn’t write anything this morning.

I’m writing now, but am honestly not sure how coherent this will be.

Because I’m sad.

I’m sad that 30 people aren’t breathing anymore. People who should be breathing. Who should be alive.
I’m sad that every one of those people has families and friends who will be profoundly affected by this weekend for the rest of their lives.
I’m sad because our government can only send faux-sympathy, but not pass reasonable gun laws to protect the innocent.
I’m sad that death and suffering are turned into partisan politics.
I’m sad that “mass shootings” that only have four or five people who die don’t even make the news.
“Oh, only four people died in that one.”

Have we become so calloused?

But it’s not just the mass shootings in America.
I’m sad today for so many other reasons.

I’m sad because people all over the world are having to leave their homes and their countries because of violence.
Or because there’s not enough food.
I’m sad because children are not allowed to be children because they are growing up in violence and homelessness.
I’m sad that countries like the one in which I live, are too scared or unwilling to help.
I’m sad people are dying because of partisan politics.
I’m sad people are leaving their faith because of partisan politics. I’m sad that conversations and dialog are becoming a communication method of the past.
I’m sad we have to take sides.
I’m tired of the violence.
I’m weary of the warring and the arguing.

There’s so much more.
Our never-ending warmongering. Our general lack of concern for people who suffer. The way divisive, radical, partisan politics has divided families and churches. Churches and Christians who have embraced partisan politics to the point that many young people (and some old people) have even left their faith.

All this makes me so sad.

This morning my church gave us time to grieve these things.
I’m grateful for this.
I needed this.

I didn’t need to sing songs (I didn’t, really).
I didn’t need to hear a sermon (I listened to one. But I didn’t really hear it.)

I did need to be sad. To lament. To mourn. And to ask Jesus to make this right. To say, God — “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

To be reminded that one day he will “make everything sad come untrue.”
And to ask how I’m supposed to walk in these shadowlands.

I’m thankful this evening for that moment this morning.