“Do not worry about tomorrow,” says Christ, “for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.”
What to do? About what you ask; why the death of Osama bin Laden of course. Should we party like its 1999 or wring our hands and cringe in the back of closets afraid of the reprisals? Like you I don’t have the answers to what will happen next or to whether it was justified but I do know how I will react. Today is another day that God has given me. Some reaction; I guess but come let us reason together what and how we should act. To start with I remember back in the Reagan years when Col. Oliver North sat in front of Congress and was asked why he spent $60,000 on a security system. He told the congressional panel that he feared for the safety of his family from the likes of terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Who? Oh him never heard of him. We have now. The reason that snippet of information has stayed with me all these years was the cost of the security system not the name. Interesting what we keep tucked away in our brains. So to start with this is not a new issue nor is it going to go away anytime soon; so I guess I’d better get comfortable with the situation.
Was justice served in this death? Well the pervasive argument would be that “all’s fair in love and war.” Oh really? We sit just two weeks past the celebration of death and resurrection of the Son of Man and have we forgotten the parties that took place celebrating Jesus death? Do you think that the Jews and Romans felt justified in their actions? I’m sure they did. But didn’t Jesus call us to pray for and love our enemies? I haven’t heard much in the way of prayer for Osama and his followers and you can count me among those who have not prayed for their salvation. Shame on me! I have failed to embody these commandments.
But to go a step further God has ordained and provided to us a government that is there for the protection of its citizens. Can’t I celebrate that our Government actually worked for good? Possibly and we should continue to pray for President Obama and all of our leaders – so that if it is at all possible to live in peace with all men. However, we have a process of justice in this country and yes I know he was in another country when this happened and we are in an unofficial “state of war.” Typically there is an arrest, some gathering of evidence, a trial, defense and persecution. This process appears to be short-cycled with this death. Can we count justice served with further killing or are we now back into the Old Testament law of “an eye for an eye?”
As I watched the pictures of the Cabinet and high ranking Government officials watching the events unfold, I remembered a movie entitled The American President starring Michael Douglas. In the movie he had to make the hard choice to bomb a location in Libya (sound eerily familiar) and so he did on the third shift. Michael J. Fox’s character celebrated the occasion as the President being at his most presidential and the response was something along the lines of “Presidential? I just condemned a janitor on the third shift doing his duty to death as an act of reprisal. Presidential?”
Sunday another group of souls was lost for eternity without the ability to express regret, remorse or repentance. And if anything, this death may have hardened millions of souls even more. We may have advanced the reach of the kingdom but whose? What will happen in the future remains to be seen and questions will continue to be asked.
Perhaps we should listen to what David Bentley Hart describes, “The Christian should see two realities at once, one world (as it were) within another, one world as we all know it, in all its beauty and terror and the other world in its first and ultimate truth, not simply ‘nature’ but ‘creation,’ an endless sea of glory radiant with the beauty of God in every part.” Our future has in its end the future that God has for us.
So we are not without hope. God is not done with us, our country or this world. God’s will have his way with this world yet. When we put our trust in that truth, the Holy Spirit will empower us to greater victory and even more reason to celebrate.
Prayer by Susanna Wesley:
Make plain to me that no circumstance, or time of life can occur but I may find something either spoken by our Lord Himself or by His Spirit in the prophets or apostles that will direct my conduct, if I am but faithful to Thee and my own soul. Amen.