Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Two questions, and neither was directly answered. God asked Cain, “Where is your brother, Abel?” Cain first lied and said, “I don’t know,” but then he asked God a question of his own, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God doesn’t specifically say so, but the implication certainly is that yes, we are to keep our brothers and sisters safe.
Then I think about acts of terrorism that cause loss of life and limb. Concert-goers are killed by a sharpshooter in Las Vegas. Pedestrians are mowed down in NYC. Bombings in Damascus. Attacks in Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, France, Egypt, Turkey and more.
How God must have mourned about this first murder, to think that one person should intentionally take the life of another, a life that was God’s gift to give, not for someone else to choose to snuff out. From one murder to serial killers, gas chambers and nuclear bombs. We know how it all began, but we have to wonder when it will ever end. Help, us, Lord. Deliver us from ourselves.
We have to wonder how, Lord, when you created humanity in love, that we have learned to hate and maim and kill. What causes a person to cross the invisible line to take away the life of another? We lift up to you all that is wrong in our world, and ask you to help us make some effort today to do right. Let us choose not to hurt, choose not to lose self-control in anger, choose not to escalate any tension but endeavor to diffuse it. Let us choose Christ’s path instead – of self-sacrifice, service, and love. Amen.