I was only an adolescent when Bloody Sunday occurred, but I can remember watching the evening news with my parents during that time period and frequently hearing stories about the clashes between Protestants and Catholics. I did not fully comprehend what was taking place, but even at that early age it was obvious that the tension and conflict was immense. Looking back, I recall that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) became a household name through the repeated reporting night after night. Although I lacked understanding about the events, I certainly had a familiarity with them nonetheless.
Conflict is evident throughout human history and it remains prevalent in modern society as well. Nations wage war against one another; revolutions occur within countries; religious factions attack and divide; the list could go on and on. Following the State of the Union speech this week given by the president of the United States, we can easily spot the conflict between political and moral ideologies right here at home. The gap between conservative and liberal thinking grows ever wider and the increased polarization of our citizenry is the ensuing result. This trend has accelerated in recent decades and it appears to be a recipe for disastrous results. If we believe that a house divided against itself cannot stand, where do we think our nation is headed?
Is there hope? Reading through the Old Testament we can see the “ups and downs” that nations experienced. If the people went astray but finally turned back toward God, they would flourish. The good news is that if we turn back to God anything can happen. I remain hopeful that someday here in the United States we will allow God back into our public institutions and into our society. I am hopeful that there will come a day when we awake from our spiritual slumber and live devout and upright lives. What can we learn from events like "Bloody Sunday?"
“The people in darkness have seen a great light.”