Summary: Violence has been increasing in America, how do we make sense of it?
It seems we have been rocked by violence in America in the past year, more so than most. Another senseless School killing, this time in San Diego were two students were gunned down by a fellow classmate. Cathy Bateman, his former babysitter, said of the 17 year old, “He’s such a good kid. It doesn’t make any sense.”
And she is right, it is senseless. At the one year anniversary of the worst killing at a public school in America, Columbine High School where 15 people were killed, the memories of that day are still as fresh.
Remember Rachel Scott who was killed after she said she was a Christian. Her parents have traveled across America sharing the message of Christ to others. Her dad said, “It is not the weapons that Eric and Dylan had. It’s about their heart.”
Thirty minutes before Rachel died, she drew 13 tears in her diary. There were thirteen victims and the two shooters who died that day.
We can blame it on Teen violence. A large national study of adolescents reported 1 in 4 youth have used a gun or knife or have been in a situation where someone was injured by a weapon in this past year.
But it was not all teens who were present at Fat Tuesday where one adult lost his life as a result of senseless violence.
Several years ago, television came out with a mini-series called the Thornbirds. Although I have not watched the series, I found out a Thornbird is a South American bird who builds a next out of twigs and thorns. After completing the building of the next, the bird, who has an excellent singing voice will sit in the middle and sing. The Thornbird then goes out, captures prey, and takes the victims and strips and hangs their flesh from the thorns around the nest, singing its melodious tune. The Thornbird is actually a predator bird who takes uncanny delight in killing and displaying its victims like a trophy hunter does with its kills.
I bring this up because the Thornbird has equals throughout the world in the form of people who have built themselves up through their random acts of violence and then taken delight in singing their song of victory as they brag of their exploits. Even those like Eric and Dylan at Columbine, left their imprint via video. Thornbirds break up marriages, destroy families, and repress individuals. Their ultimate aim is self-centeredness and not the good of other people.
The Bible says in John 10:10 The Thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and destroy. The Thief is satan, the thornbird of old. The one the book of Revelation points out in chapter 12 has been cast down to earth. He is looking for you so he can peel your flesh and hang it from the thorns of his trophy room, broadcasting to everyone else your defeat. Crowing his song all the while.
Do you feel like you have been in a battle? It is because the thornbird has come to steal from you. Do you feel paralyzed? It is because the Thornbird has come to kill you, injecting a poison to paralyze your life. Do you feel like things are falling apart around you? The thornbird has been tearing things down around you so that he can get to you.
All of this violent situations around us are directly tied in to satan’s plan…to steal, to kill, and to destroy.
Jesus said in the last part of John 10:10 I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. Jesus said, don’t worry about the Thornbirds and become so preoccupied with fear for if you do, you will miss out on the abundance of living. How many of you could use some abundant living today?
How do we prevent the Thornbirds from getting us. We need to understand we are involved in warfare.
You might remember seeing the scenes of Pat Ireland at the window of Columbine and those long minutes as they dragged on before he was rescued. Ireland said “There were certainly factors, but the ultimate blame rests in the hands of two young men full of hate and out to kill.”
We are in a battle. There are people influenced by the gods of this world, who are bent on stealing, killing and destroying. We need to recognize this truth. We cannot stick out heads in the sand and believe it will all go away. It rains on the just as well as the unjust so we need to recognize what we can do.
Say this with me I AM IN A BATTLE…THROUGH CHRIST I AM GOING TO WIN.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.