Marben Bland

A Word For The Graduate

A Word For The Graduate

This week my thoughts centered on graduation.  From preschool to postgraduate, I have always loved Graduation Ceremonies.  In some quarters, these events are called Commencement Exercises.  I think both names are appropriate because as Jesus said in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." 


Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Thoughts About Murder In Pittsburgh

The first murder is described in Genesis chapter 4.  Cain is angry at his brother Abel because of his perceived favorable status with God. Incensed, Cain lures Abel to a field and kills him.  When the Lord asks where is Able? Cain responds, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 

On Saturday, another murder involving brothers took placed; instead of a field the killing was done in a holy place, a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  David and Cecil Rosenthal were among the eight men and three women killed when a gunman (armed with a legally obtained AR15 rifle and other weapons) opened fire during services at the Tree of Life Synagogue.  

By all accounts the Rosenthal Brothers were each other’s keeper.  David and Cecil, both developmentally disabled, lived together and served as greeters at the Synagogue. 

In this dark hour, as disciples of Christ, we must remember that we are our brother’s keeper.  When members of any faith community are attacked, we are all attacked!  Regardless of the faith, whether Evangelical Christian, Muslim or Jewish, our response should be as God’s when He told Cain, “Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” 

As our brother’s keeper, we must denounce the evil sickness of hate, not by reading a statement and then stroking the fires of fear at another political rally. 

-       As our brother’s keeper :We must denounce this evil sickness by asking the Lord for guidance as we engage in making real efforts to know our brothers and sister of other faiths, other political views and other racial-ethnic groups.  

-       As our brother’s keeper :We must denounce this evil sickness by asking the Lord for strength as we overcome all attempts at voter suppression and intimidation during the midterm elections

-       As our brother’s keeper: We must denounce this evil sickness by asking the Lord for a spirit of atonement, forgiveness and peace in the mist of our hurt and sorrow. 

We ask the Lord for all this and more because as was shown in the story of Cain and Abel, and now is depicted in the lives of David and Cecil Rosenthal, we are our brother’s keeper!