Stop the bleed
“Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and the captains of the army, and the King’s administrative officers all gave willingly. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD, and King David was filled with joy.” —1 Chronicles 29:6,9
What part of you must die so that Christ can live in you? It’s a question I penciled in the margin of the book, Models of the Church, by Avery Dulles, S.J., Doubleday, 1978.
Said softly with the same imperative, here is the question again. “What part of your thinking, your being, or your daily routine needs to be quieted so that Christ can be fully active in you?”
The following may help you answer. It comes from Cardinal Cushing of Boston during Advent, 1966. Cushing writes, “Jesus came not only to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, He came also to give himself for its realization. He came to serve, to heal, to reconcile, to bind up wounds…He is the one who comes along of us in our need and in our sorrow; He extends Himself for our sake. He truly dies that we might live…”
Serve. Heal. Reconcile. Bind wounds. Stop the bleed.
It is time to stop the bleed. The images of the shirtless men this past Sunday night in Vegas shake us all. My first thought when seeing these guys was that it must have been a hot summer night, and these guys were just cooling off.
I was wrong.
These quick thinkers used their shirts to stop bleeds from the wounded around them. You may not see blood from a bullet wound today, but here is a truth you know: a great number of gushing pains surround us.
We can join these shirtless champions and stop the enormous suffering going on in our nation. How? Give willingly. Like those around King David did during the gathering of materials for God’s temple here on earth, it is time for God’s temple on earth now.
God’s temple today does not have to be an abstract, a triage response, or a sorely needed component in a world laden with great sores. It can be now—right now, with you. Christ will be fully active in you as you respond to what you see. Love on those who need love today.
Forward thinking theologians from the 1960s and beyond say God’s temple is not a building. God’s temple is when we, like all of those who attended the afflicted during a massacre, stop the bleed.
LORD: We pray for those who lost their lives this past Sunday night. We pray for their grieving families and friends. We also look into the heart of this grieving nation and say that Christ lives in us—and it’s time the world sees it. Amen.