This Sunday, Rev. Kikanza Nuri Robins will be preaching as I attend a family wedding in Minnesota. We are grateful that Kikanza is so willing to make time to come and be with us.
This Sunday is Pentecost, the day when the Christian Church believes the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples and enabled them to speak in foreign languages. Since then, we believe the Spirit moves with and through us. Jesus said the "spirit" blows like the wind, and no one knows where it comes from and where it is going. It is one of the important days in the liturgical calendar and the day symbolizes the completion of the Trinity.
As I am writing this, I am hearing about another mass murder. This is the 233rd mass shooting of 2022, and it is only June 1. This afternoon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a man with an automatic weapon made for warfare killed four people and wounded at least ten others. After taking four innocent lives, in the act of cowardice took his own life when the police arrived—another senseless mass murder with a military-style assault rifle.
As I was listening to the news, I found myself humming the words of a song Bob Dylan wrote 60 years ago. In Blowing in the Wind, he asks a series of questions that capture the world's imagination. The last question of the song is, "how many deaths will it take 'til he knows too many people have died?" I think as a nation we are asking the same question.
We are now living in a state of fear. We are afraid of those we know and those we don't know. With the gun laws as they are, the person next to you could be the next mass murderer; you never know. Also, the person next to you may think that you could be the next mass murderer. We all live in a prison of fear.
We can live freely only when we voluntarily limit our freedom for the common good. Living in a country with more guns than people means that we are living in a prison of fear created by the gun lobby.
We no longer live in a civilized society but a primitive, undeveloped wild west. Being civilized means in the act of nobility, its citizens limit their rights and live for the betterment of others. The nobility of voluntarily giving up our rights is the very definition of civilized society.
Dylan's simple but profoundly spiritual answer stops us in our tracks and makes us think. The answer is blowing in the wind. The answer is obvious, and it is as simple as the blowing wind. It is as simple as the Spirit of God revealing the truth of Jesus. God is love, and if you know God, you love.
Let us listen to the Spirit blowing and live in peace and harmony.