Posted on Mar 01, 2018 by John Holt
Over the past week I have been shocked by all of the negative social media posts aimed at the students from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Many students chose to speak out against assault weapons and gun violence. They spoke their truths and shared an intimate portrait of a tragedy that no child should ever have to experience. One would think that we as a country could give them some space to share their struggles and give witness to an issue that has become far too common. Unfortunately, many have decided to publicly tear victims down, label them as paid actors, or associate them with Tide pod eating millennials. Are we as a country this tone deaf?
I have spent the past twenty plus years working with young people in rural, urban, and suburban communities. I have walked with them through transition, celebration, and tragedy. I have had the privilege of hearing them speak from the heart and display acts of leadership far beyond that of many adults. I am continually impressed by our youth and young adults who choose to talk openly about the things that matter to them and their communities.
13-14 When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
15-17 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
18-19 But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
20-22 They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
23-25 During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them. John 2:13-25 The Message (MSG)
Jesus became angry and confronted people who were so focused on their own needs that they couldn’t see what was most important. They were wrapped up in worldly possessions and their rights but were missing what was right in from of them.
Our creator calls us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. Do we have the courage to open our hearts to the cries of our young people and truly hear them?
Peace- John Holt
Director of Student Ministries and Communications