Friday, August 11, 2017
Fire and Fury?
For the Lord will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to pay back his anger in fury,
and his rebuke in flames of fire.
In an earlier era of my ministry when children were actually in worship on summer Sunday mornings we recognized the grim reality of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2. I hasten to add that we did so gently, with the story of a Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a historical novel for children about an actual Japanese girl who endeavours to create origami cranes to grant her wish to be healed from the leukemia she develops from the radiation of the Hiroshima blast.
In the novel Sadako doesn't reach her goal before succumbing to the disease, but her family noted that she folded at least 1400 cranes. Sadako's family have donated some of Sadako's cranes at places of importance around the world: in NYC at the 9-11 memorial, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at The Truman Library & Museum on Nov 19th 2015, at Museum Of Tolerance on May 26 2016, along with other memorials and museums.
For those Sundays Ruth, my wife, folded enough paper cranes to distribute to any children present, and at least one year she created them with the kids. We shared this story within the context of worship as a sombre reminder that war is devastating and peace is God's desire for all humanity.
In the week following the commemoration of these catastrophic events we have watched in horror as two six-year olds playing with matches and gasoline have posed as world leaders. Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump have blustered away at each other, threatening the use of nuclear weapons. We have come to expect this from North Korean leaders. President Trump has broken from the measured response of his predecessors and his current advisors to rant about the "fire and fury" to be rained down on North Korea should the country act aggressively toward the United States. Some have suggested that this is a cherry-picked Old Testament phrase fed to Trump by a fundamentalist advisor. God help us, and save us from "Christians" who totally miss the message of Christ's peace in the gospels.
What do you think about the dangerous developments of the past week? Are you, like me, wondering how this could happen? Is someone going to perform an exorcism on President Trump?