May 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

The older I get, the more I become a pacifist. I understand the need for protection and I have many wonderful friends in our military. I admire the sacrifice that they and their families make. At the same time, I find myself disturbed by war and fighting no matter what the cause. I try to hang onto the just war theory, but that too gives me pause. I wonder what God really thinks of all of this beyond the pain that comes from watching His creation hurt and kill each other. I wonder if He understands. Certainly Jesus was not a violent man, even though He was not afraid to tip over some tables in the name of righteous anger. All of the press around the death of Osama Bid Laden really has cause me to reflect on these issues. Below is the devotional I wrote for my church for this week, its something I post online as a blog and email out to our families. Its a part of my personal journey at the moment.





Sunday night I turned on the television as I often do to unwind. The news had just come on citing a major announcement by the President. Over the next hour or so I found myself glued to the television like many others across the world. Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I listened as information was portrayed and thought back to September 11, 2001. I, like many others remember it well, I remember where I was. I remember how ministry changed that day, not only for the weeks and months to come, but long past the media coverage. I found myself glad that the hunt for this mass murder had ended. I found myself feeling good for the victims families who had been waiting for this kind of justice. I was happy that I am not the president and am not one of the leaders or military members of this country who have to make these hard decisions and deal with these difficult situations. For the most part it seemed like a good moment. I wrestled with forgiveness and found myself thinking about what it means to forgive a Bin Laden, a Hitler and others who have committed mass violence. Perhaps it is harder to forgive these kind of individuals, but I wondered if forgiveness and ‘justice’ could co-exist.


Later, the news flashed to celebrations in the streets of Washington D.C. and New York city. People were celebrating in the streets. My general state of reflection and happiness suddenly turned sour. While I understand the feeling that victims families must have at this news and the sense of justice they felt, I also found it hard to watch people celebrate. It seems odd as a follower of Jesus Christ to celebrate the death of anyone, no matter how terrible the person or how atrocious their actions, no matter how much the death might be deserved. In the end, I cannot bring myself to celebrate or watch celebrations about the death of BIn Laden, even though I am glad the situation is resolved.


This got me thinking about what it is we celebrate and do not celebrate as followers of Jesus Christ. When it comes to the celebrations of the world, (the death of Bin Laden, royal weddings, sports victories, celebrity news) I think we might be missing the point. I also realized that I am guilty of not celebrating the right things like holding onto my daughter as she feels traumatized by throwing up, hugging my son for no particular reason, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the joy of Easter. There is so much to celebrate and as an Easter people, a people of the resurrection we must be a people that celebrate the big and little things, but above all else we must celebrate the things that show us life, that give us life, that reveal the nature of the God of the universe.


I find myself convicted in the midst of the death of Osama Bin Laden to consider carefully what it is that I celebrate.