Jesus said, “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:10-20
The shootings in Orlando late Saturday night are a horror too common in this country. The rights of those who would own guns seem to outweigh the lives of the innocent and vulnerable, those judged by others as lost or different. I have been so saddened by our unwillingness as a country to take on bullies, the ones who feel their selfish needs overshadow the safety our all of our people. " So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost." It is not God's will that we put anyone in danger, so how do we understand this need for weapons that put us all at risk?
Jesus had been challenged about not following the rules of the religious authority. He was very clear that he was law abiding and faithful, but that human laws were fallible and often short sighted. Control of those of difference are often hidden in laws and rules. We bury our fears and hatred in the flag of the second amendment, when the law was made, it was never envisioned to bring destruction of innocents by madmen and zealots. We are invited by God in this time to hear what is God's will from the mouth of God incarnate - " So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost."
Today I ask God for the courage and strength to be an agent of positive change and healing. May we live the love that God has given us and be ambassadors for healing and reconciliation that is the ministry and calling of us all.