Dong Yun Yoon lost his wife, two children and mother-in-law Monday when a Marine Corps jet crashed into his home in San Diego. He told the reporters, of the plane's pilot who survived: "Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident."I cried reading the article. This man is the church.
Posting it here, it feels almost like a sequel to the news story from Black Friday.
A friend of mine was telling me last week how he was struck by the contrast between this man's death at Wal-Mart and the lectionary text for the first Wednesday of Advent. The reading came from Isaiah, and is a prophecy concerning the Messiah.
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord , to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
As we are entering into a season that remembers and celebrates the birth of the Prince of Peace, in whose Kingdom justice is established, there is news of injuries and deaths at a Wal-Mart because people want a discount on electronics... for Christmas.
But then I read this news, and I'm reminded of that Kingdom and its reality.
I was listening to The First Noel while I first read this article, and the Advent season seemed almost tangible. 'Born is the King of Israel!' and here, in the news(!), is the Kingdom that he established, at work fulfilling that great commandment given to us to love our neighbors. Even here in the midst of a horrible evil, this man has been able to proclaim to a nation the Truth of the gospel, and this is the season when that Truth is most appropriately proclaimed and, sadly, most easily forgotten.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1 John 4:7-9