Daily Devotional March 28, 2023

One of the worst moments of my life was standing over the little casket of a child.  There’s something about seeing a miniature coffin and knowing there’s a little one in it that goes against the natural order of things.  It’s not supposed to be that way.  Older people who have experienced a long full life are supposed to be in caskets, not innocent children who never really got a chance to live.

Because of what I do for a living, there are times when I have to stand over little caskets.  It is always hard.

Today in Nashville, three sets of parents will pick out three little caskets, for three little children who were murdered with assault weapons.  In addition, three adults who cared for these beautiful children will also be in caskets.  The only saving grace in this nightmare is, unlike the massacre in Uvalde, the police acted swiftly and killed the attacker before she could take more innocent lives.

Something is terribly wrong in our country and too many of us are unwilling to see what is happening, even though the rest of the civilized world is able to see it.  WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH GUNS.

Before I go any further, let me explain.  I have more guns than most people.  I have more hunting mounts than most people.  I even have one in my office at the church.  I also have more training with assault weapons than most people because I spent four years of my life in the army, learning how to defend our nation.  I am not anti-gun but I am anti-stupidity, anti-hypocrisy, and anti-evil.

While our children are being slaughtered in school hallways by people with high-capacity assault weapons, we have some who have made the Second Amendment their true god.

To make matters worse, our politicians pander to the gun lobbyists.  They are nothing but hypocrites and political prostitutes. 

The Tennessee Representative for the district that includes The Covenant School in Nashville, is Andy Ogles. This past year, his family Christmas card showed his family in front of a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.  They are holding assault rifles.  And the assault rifle Representative Ogles was holding had a silencer on it.  What is wrong with this picture?

In his statement in response to the senseless murder of six people at The Covenant School in Nashville, Ogles said: “My family and I are devastated by the tragedy that took place at The Covenant School in Nashville this morning. We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost. As a father of three, I am utterly heartbroken by this senseless act of violence.”

Once again, a politician sends his “thoughts and prayers.”

Our politicians in Washington and Austin are big on thoughts and prayers but little else.  The hypocrisy is endless and offensive because they are not about helping the people they represent.  They are about helping themselves.

Remember when the power grid failed in Texas and people were literally freezing to death.  One of our senators decided it was the perfect time for a tropical vacation.  He intentionally deserted the people who elected him to office.

As Ted Cruz fights with every fiber of his being against any sort of common-sense approach to gun control, he says he is “praying for the entire Nashville community” in the wake of this “evil atrocity.”

This is the same man who disregarded the desperate pleas for gun control from the grieving parents in Uvalde where 19 students and two teachers died.  This is the true definition of hypocrisy.  Jesus called people like this “whitewashed tombs.”

There will be some who say it is their “God-Given” right to own assault weapons.  That’s not true.  For these people, guns have become their true religion.  It does not matter what happens to others as long as they are not inconvenienced.  It’s all about them.

The root of sin is arrogance which is defined as assigning too much importance to self.  This is what I see happening with the gun lobby and those who are unwilling to make any sacrifices in order to save innocent lives.

While I have friends who have assault weapons, I trust them not to do something evil.  But the evidence is clear, too many people who shouldn’t have access to assault weapons are getting them, using them, and causing unmitigated death and destruction. 

If the only way to stop this madness is banning assault weapons, then we need to do it.  This is about more than politicians and their meaningless words.  To say something and not do anything about it is the hypocrisy James describes by saying, What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”  (James 2:14-17)

I truly believe God expects more.

I once heard someone say my job was to “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”  That may or may not be true.  Having said that, too many are comfortable with senseless murder and mayhem as long as they can have their assault weapons.  That’s just wrong.

Some will disagree with me.  It won’t be the first time.

I truly believe we are not following God’s command to love one another when we allow our country to be saturated with weapons that are designed to kill others. (John 13:34-35)

We are reaping what we have sown.

Prayer:   Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please give us clarity, wisdom, and the resolve to address this crisis that continually kills innocent people and causes so much harm.  Guide our politicians to do what is right, instead of what is profitable, and self-serving.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

In a few days, pastors in Nashville will be standing next to little caskets, comforting grieving parents, and trying to make sense out of this never-ending violence.  Something is wrong.

I pray God protects you today.

Tom Robbins