I am angry. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and …
This is not a normal feeling for me, or perhaps it is and I have been too P.C. (pastorally correct) to embrace it.
What am I angry about?
Let me turn that back on you. What are you angry about?
What stirs a few embers in your soul? What causes you to shift a little in your bed of complacency?
Does 200 girls being kidnapped in Nigeria push your red button?
Fears for the fate of more than 200 Nigerian girls turned even more nightmarish when the leader of the Islamist group that kidnapped them said he’ll sell them. … We have the commitment and capacity to get this done. CNN
What gets you angry? What charges up your heart?
Moving away from the world scene, something most likely far far away for you, what is going to change your situation?
What are those frustrations you face, the swirl of life pounding at your heart?
Something tipped Jesus over.
There was some little trigger that caused him to take up a whip and act out his inner righteous anger.
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right.
He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.” John 2:15-17 (The Message)
Jesus let loose because the religious rulers were extorting the poor in their desire to worship.
Fury must have raged through this soul.
I wonder what the disciples thought about this! I wonder what you think about this.
‘No more Mr. Nice guy‘ from Alice Cooper storms into my thinking.
Paul comes to us says
Be angry but do not sin Ephesians 4:26
Anger is ok, but don’t sin.
Don’t let your anger consume you away from what God is doing.
Sin is not being far from God, it’s turning our gaze in the wrong direction. Simone Weil
I don’t want my emotional feelings of anger to shift my gaze away from God. I don’t want to take actions into my own hands.
I want to keep focused on what God is up to and my part in it. I want a Zeal for my God to consume my focus.
So this is what I am going to do.
1. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and … pray
First of all, I am going to pray seeking God’s kingdom to come. Their rule, their way, their timing.
This is what I pray
God, help me to see things the way you see them.
Compassion and grace in tension with anger and justice.
Show me the big picture you are working in and my role in it.
Help me never to step out of your dance studio
but always to be listening to your heartbeat.
Show when to act and when to not.
God there is a season for everything.
May I be still enough to sense the changes and patterns,
the whispers and the shouts.
2. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and … act.
This what I am going to do. Prayer must lead us to change. Prayer invites a response to do what only you can do.
What is it through prayer that God is calling you to act on?
What goals are you setting that reflects the communion of prayer you have?
Prayer and action, therefore, can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive.
Prayer without action grows in powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation.
If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service.
And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer.
In prayer we meet Christ, and in him all human suffering.
In service we meet people, and in them the suffering Christ.
Henri J. M. Nouwen Compassion
3. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and … invite.
This journey is too long and dangerous to go alone. Invite others to go with you. Brothers and sisters that have a zeal for God like your own.
Who are you inviting on the journey with you? Who will hold your arms up when they get tired and whose arms are you going to hold up.
We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.