When there is a lack of respect, chaos is sure to follow. We can see this during the entire life spectrum from conception to natural death. When there is no respect for the dignity and sanctity of life at all stages, we see a deterioration of societal behavior across the board as well. The violence that is so prevalent in society today demonstrates that we have a very deep and serious condition of moral poverty. The civil unrest in St. Louis County simply highlights a multitude of social problems running rampant in our cities and neighborhoods.
There are no easy answers to the complex issues facing us today. However, if we never seek to address the problems, why would we expect things to improve? The list of needs is long. Here are just a few items that jump to mind immediately:
1. Create safe communities.
2. Improve education.
3. Improve economic conditions.
4. Create jobs.
5. Enhance family structures.
6. Get church congregations to get involved in the community.
7. Teach Christian values.
8. GIVE PEOPLE HOPE!
We have removed God from our schools and public institutions. We have legalized the killing of unborn children. (As I saw on Facebook yesterday, destroying the egg of an eagle brings severe consequences, but killing an unborn child is acceptable and has no legal implications.) The sexual liberation of the 1960's has produced a variety of detrimental behaviors: pornography, contraception, the objectification of the human person. Divorce has shattered the family structure. Proponents of "same-sex marriage" wish to further redefine the family structure. Physician-assisted suicide continues to gain traction. Euthanasia (mercy-killing) is acceptable in the eyes of many. This idea simply says. "Lose your ability to function--lose your right to live!"
At a certain point in time people of faith need to wake up. We cannot continue to sit on the sidelines and watch the moral decay of society. It is our responsibility to be involved in the building up of the Kingdom of God. We may not have the ability to end the fighting in Iraq or to calm tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, but we each have the ability to make our own community a little better by being the light of Christ to others. The fire that we witness at the Easter Vigil doesn't just burn on that night. We are to keep that flame of faith burning brightly each and every day of our lives.
How will you bring hope to someone today?