God Will Make Something New
I had a unique vantage point from which to view the awful events in Boston last week: two weddings. The bombs went off at the marathon finish line just a few hours before the first wedding began here in the church on Monday evening….and the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (which ended the daylong manhunt in Watertown) took place toward the end of the reception of the second wedding on Friday night. It was striking how all the violence and terror and senseless bloodshed I was seeing on television, was countered by the sense of love and celebration and family and friendship that the two weddings
gave rise to in real life.
I have to say that while there was a great deal of concern about the ongoing news in Boston (especially since some of the guests were either from that area or visiting it because of the marathon), nothing ultimately distracted from loveliness of the occasions. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised by that. After all, isn’t our own faith based on the assertion that the ties of love and relationship are so much more powerful and far-reaching than death and hatred? Is that not the power of the new commandment which Christ gave us?
It’s these kind of loving, nurturing relationships which seem to be missing in the two brothers’ lives. Although there’s still much we don’t know, I haven’t heard a great deal about parents or other siblings or family members who helped to raise the two. On the other hand, I did hear an uncle who called them “losers,” a father who has spent many years running from persecution, and a wife who works 80 hours a week and “didn’t notice anything amiss” about her husband, the older brother, in the days after the bombings. It doesn’t sound like there was a whole lot love and care in the lives of these two terrorists. I am not at all suggesting that their horrific actions can be explained away so simply, but only that this missing piece certainly didn’t help.
“Behold, I make all things new!” says the One who sat on the throne….says the Lord. Even from our missteps and tragedies, God will make something new. The first step of that process is probably to instill or renew in us some vision of a new order of things. Follow that with a fresh infusion of hope that a new world is actually possible, despite our setbacks, despite our resistance. And then, at last, perhaps the road is open, the day has come: when tears of mourning and cries of pain will be turned into the celebration and dancing of a wedding banquet……just like the ones I saw last week…..