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Post Seventy

Cross Purposes: Discipleship begins in the Wilderness

February 18, 2018

Mark 1: 12-13:

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.


Today was not a normal Sunday. I could not bring myself to stick to my prepared sermon in the light of the school shootings in Florida. I knew I had to offer some sort of theological reflection on the present crisis of gun violence in America and our collective refusal to do anything at all to reduce the occurance of such violence. Before leaving for worship I posted on Facebook, "Heading to church to preach on Jesus in the wilderness. Since the latest school shooting and the predictable meaningless political response has put me in the wilderness, maybe I can meet him there."

According to Mark, Jesus' ministry began in the wilderness. In the wilderness he gained clarity as to his Godly purpose. In this time of our relentless gun violence wilderness I pray that we might also gain clarity and get to work. 

I have posted a recording of today's sermon below. It is not perfect, but at least I tried. I invite you to listen.

Going on from here I have resolved these things:

1. I will pray, but I will not hide behind prayer as a way to avoid my responsibility to act.

2. I will actively work for the election of representatives who are not puppets of the NRA.

3. I will lobby my present representatives to:

a) Allow the CDC to collect data and study gun violence as a public health issue.

b) Remove the laws that shield gun manufacturers from being sued for the danger to public health presented by their product.

c) Contribute to responsible organizations that are working for sensible restrictions on military style weapons and proper screening for all who purchase a gun.

d) Resist federal budget priorities that take money away from education and mental health programs.

We may be in the wilderness, but we are not without power. There are angels tending to us. Reject temptation. There is work to be done.


Dave Gladstone


Cross Purposes

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