Guns to Garden Tools & Why We Gather

by susan on November 8, 2018

On the heels of yet another mass shooting, this time in a California bar, we are reminded yet again of the reality of gun violence that plagues our nation. It’s not just happening somewhere else, though. For too long, it’s been happening too often here in our own community – in our streets & homes & public spaces.

One of the reasons we gather each week as a Jesus-centered community is to be reminded that is doesn’t have to be like this.

There is another way. 

We come together to remember that Way. Rooted in the imagination of the prophet Isaiah who declared, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” (Is. 2:4), that way was revealed most fully through the life, teachings, death & resurrection of Jesus.

It is the way of love, not fear.
It is the way of peace, not war.

It is the way of serving & sharing & giving & forgiving, not hoarding & punishing & hating & dividing.

And, while yes we do live in an imperfect “already, but not yet” time, it’s imperative that we come together to remember, that even in our brokenness, God is making a way forward. And we have a part in it.

This Sunday, November 11th, as we come together at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum at 10:30 a.m., we’ll hear the heart-breaking story of one of our neighbors who lost her son in gun violence. We’ll also hear the story of a gun owner in our church family who donated his gun to be transformed into a garden tool. Thanks to the imaginative (& speedy!) work of RawTools, we should have the garden tool this Sunday. We’ll sing, pray, share stories & be invited to live deeper into the way of Jesus.

Then, next Sunday, November 18th at 4 p.m., we’re partnering with other faith leaders & grassroots organizations to host a community gathering in Memorial Park in Riverside. This interfaith-led service will include stories from those impacted by gun violence, reflections from faith leaders, candle lightings & calls to commit ourselves to a better way forward. You can find the details on the Facebook event page.

So, let’s gather. Let’s gather to lament, to confess, to support & to declare once again: “it doesn’t have to be like this.

Artwork: Swords into Plowshares, at the garden at the United Nations, New York City, Yevgeny Vuchetich, 1959.

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