• David Grachek

"Love your neighbor as self"

I can't help but feel like there is a terrible dark could over the sunshine state today. Yet another mass shooting in one of our schools has taken young lives from us.

Why is this happening?

How could anyone stoop so low as to kill innocents?

Why, God?

Most are searching for answers to a myriad of questions today. Has our society gotten to disheveled that there is so little value for life?

We are all filled with theories today, but no answers. My theory is that we live in a society today the has little if any value for self. I read an article today where some young adults aged 21-26 went back to high school under cover to learn more about the world that teenagers live in today. Even though they had only been out of high school a few years themselves, they were shocked at what they learned.

The experiences that I found most profound was that in high school, depression is running rampant. Trying to wear the right clothes, the right shoes, having the right book bag, among other things, is such a tremendous pressure with shame being the outcome of most attempts to "fit in".

How did we get this way? Were we always this way? Bullying is a 24/7 event now. Sexting in school and the harassment of young ladies is the norm rather than an absurdity.

I was so sad yesterday as I watched the news with interviews of high school kids that survived the horrible events in South Florida yesterday; they were not horrified with terror. It's as if it wasn't good day, but it was just a day in the life of being a high school kid. How could a mass shooting seem so common place to these teens?

Our society doesn't value human life. We don't celebrate life.

God created us in his image and that image isn't valued.

Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus said, "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27 - NIV)

Jesus was asked for one commandment, but he gave two.

I'm afraid our world has a hard time with the baseline of these commandments - love as yourself. I think our world has a hard time loving self. Jesus commandments, those with which everything rested on, has at it's core a need for loving self before loving neighbors could be done. If the world has no value for their neighbor, it is because it cannot stand itself first.

How does a teenager take a semi-automatic rifle to a school where he was expelled and open fire killing classmates? Perhaps at the core is a hatred of self.

As a church, our mantra is to Love Others to Love Jesus Christ. Our mission as the church is to give people permission to love themselves with the love that was first given by Jesus Christ.

Until then, a dark cloud will remain over us all.

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