The Norman Transcript


September 27, 2013

What to do in between times

NORMAN — Dark plumes of smoke rose from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, this week. The world watched in horror as at least 16 terrorists stormed the mall, taking and killing numerous hostages as they battled Kenyan soldiers.

Earlier this month, 12 were killed at the Washington Navy Yard before the shooter was killed by police. In April, three were killed and 264 were injured as two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

And we all remember the unspeakably horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting just 10 months ago that left 26 children and staff dead before the gunman took his own life.

After last week’s shooting in Washington, one commentator was resigned to the “fact” that these killings are just part of life in our world today. I cringed.

The Columbine High School shootings in 1999 seem to have marked some kind of beginning point. Maybe it was the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995 that was the watershed moment. Or, maybe it was when Cain killed Abel.

It just seems that these types of events are more and more commonplace. What are we to do?

Jesus came announcing a new kingdom. It is a kingdom marked by love, peace and compassion for others. It is a kingdom of righteousness amidst forgiveness and grace. This new kingdom stands in contrast to those kingdoms where all mixtures of good and evil battle for power and control.

Our dilemma is that this new kingdom will not be fully realized until the future. So, how shall we live in the between times? How shall we live in a world where evil and violence often win the day and create all kinds of death, woundedness and chaos?

The beatitudes in Matthew 5 speak to living in the between times. They speak of comfort for those who mourn, mercy for those who offer mercy, satisfaction for those who pursue righteousness.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tests of a living faith

    We recently started a study on Wednesday nights of the letter James wrote to the church. This Bible book is a practical guide to Christian living, but more than that, it really forces one to think honestly about their faith. Is your faith ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Which Bible bit is most misinterpreted?

    The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church: Many passages vie for consideration, but the first “bit” that came to mind we find in Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 2:1-5....

    July 24, 2014

  • CAIR-OK plans day of service

    The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join Mercy Youth Club and IST Youth at the fourth annual Ramadan Day of Service Saturday....

    July 18, 2014

  • Guest preacher and author to speak

    The Reverend Dr. James White will preach, as well as discuss, his new book, “Brief Christian Histories: Getting a Sense of Our Long Story,” this Sunday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster. White will preach at both 8:40 and 10:45 ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Life on earth is a vapor

    The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year. This generation of Americans, born from 1946-1964, is named after the post-World War II “baby boom.” I am a baby boomer and as one of the “late boomers,” one of the last to turn 50 — ...

    July 17, 2014

  • What does a bird ‘alone on a housetop’ mean

    Reassurance of God’s mercy The Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church: This verse, Psalm 102:7, has a notation in the New Living Translation, “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Hillsboro resident’s first CD will benefit Haiti missions

    When Angie Sawyer's son passed away at age 5 she tried several ways to deal with her grief. But none of them worked, she said, until she turned to God. So to tell her story, she recently recorded her first CD, “On The Right Track.” All ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Anti-bias order creates rift

    In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Is anything really free?

    We have just celebrated the nation’s 238th birthday. We are extremely proud of and attached to freedom. The Founding Fathers wrote into the founding documents practical truths that make those freedoms attainable. I love the fact that they ...

    July 10, 2014