There’s no denying the emotional release most Americans felt Sunday night with the news of ObL’s killing. As I watched I lay in bed remembering — the images of the Twin Towers seared in my mind, the personal stories of the many murdered that day, including the spouses and children left behind. 9-11 was one of the darkest days in American history.
There is a measure of closure—though ObL had become more a symbol of a larger network worldwide. He was the face, the figurehead. The threat continues, but his death marks in some respect the end of a decade of fear, anger, suspicion and dread for many Americans. But for all of the death and destruction sown by bin Laden and his followers, the years since Sept. 11, 2001, have showcased Americans’ heroism, courage, idealism and resolve – particularly our soldiers who have served in harm’s way.
There’s no denying the complexity however—on a personal, political, and even biblical level. I’ve been reminded again this week of how divided we are. Social media (from blogs to Facebook) is chocked full of reaction—ranging from joyful celebration to cautionary and solemn remarks. Life is so complex, isn’t it?
I’ve got mixed emotions. Sunday night I muttered, “Mission accomplished!” with satisfaction. I’m a committed Christ follower, but oh so complex. I preach on Sunday mornings the peace and love of Christ and enjoy watching Jack Bauer reruns during the week. I still remember cheering when Rocky Balboa cold-clocked Apollo Creed! I’m messed up, multi-layered at best.
Politically, I have friends on both sides of the aisle. Republican leaning friends downplay President Obama’s role, while Democratic friends hope that this will invigorate a run for a 2nd term. Many celebrate, while others caution against it. Complexity—and we ministers are supposed to always have just the right word!
If you choose to use the Bible for situations like this, and many do, you can find a verse to support your personal view. Here are some that many are going to — (Ezekiel 18:23, Proverbs 24:17-18, 2 Chronicles 20:27, Matthew 5:43-45). It seems obvious to me that the church, or the world for that matter, is not best served when we use scriptures like this.
Always better, I believe, for the Bible to point us to Jesus—His way and example to follow.
How have you been feeling this week? How do you think a Christ follower should respond?