Key Scripture: Genesis 4:1-18
Gun violence and mass shootings have become a pervasive and petrifying problem in our country. Since 1982, there have been 109 mass shootings in the U.S. that have left 883 dead and 1,328 wounded. It seems no place in our society is really safe, as these acts of violence have taken place at schools, the workplace, restaurants, and even churches. Gun violence as a whole results in more than 11,000 murders every year in our country and more than 20,000 deaths by suicide. When the news breaks of yet another shooting, the public debate over gun control and mental health begins anew. How do we stop this evil from happening? To stop violence in our country ultimately requires going to the source of the problem: the human heart. When a person feels extreme rejection from an individual or from society as a whole, that hurt can turn into anger and acts of vengeance. As the Church, we must show people they are known and loved and give them a place to belong. We must also examine our own hearts for any evidence of anger or bitterness and sever the root of violence through the grace and forgiveness found in Christ.
Scripture References: Matthew 5:21-22, Hebrews 11:4, Genesis 3:15, Romans 6:14, Hebrews 12:24, Matthew 5:23-24, Ephesians 4:32, Ephesians 2:13