Violence Is Not The Answer

Do not judge or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? . . . You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Mt. 7:1-5

Lord, in a week where a man who was a husband, father, grandfather, friend, and physician was murdered in church, help us to see that violence is not the answer.

As we try to move forward through the difficult issues of our day, help us to look at the full humanity of others and be aware that we cannot fully understand your will.

As we each work out our own salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), help us to respect the struggles and judgments of others whose trials are many and different than ours.  Where our judgments and values clash, help us to trust simply in the knowledge that some day you will judge the living and the dead, and to resist the temptations of self-righteousness, and of judging or demonizing others.

As your servant, Dr. Martin Luther King, taught us: “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Lord, let your light shine into our lives and deliver us from darkness.  Help us each to love despite our differences, and teach us to forgive.  Lead us, O Lord.

Amen.

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