Violence in Philadelphia has been unrelenting over the past ten years. Children as young as three are regularly killed in drive-by shootings. A few horrific incidents stand out. The rest blur together, one death as meaningless as the next.
Teenage brothers were shot to death during a home invasion. The murders, like many others, were thought to be drug related. The body of a pregnant woman with young children was found in an abandoned lot by vagrants. It had been stripped and smeared with peanut butter to attract rodents.
The horror prompts us to turn away. But that is not what Jesus would have us do. These lives are not worthless to Him, however random and pointless the deaths may seem.
“Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death” ’ ” (Jer. 21: 8).
Lord God, our cities are devastated – the lives of the men, women, and children in them shattered by violence.
Knowing that You are the Redeemer, that it is You this world so desperately needs, we plead for those around us. We cannot bear the loss of another child, Lord. We cry out to You, for there is no other hope.
Over and over, You have set before us the way of life and the way of death. Bring repentance and revival to our nation. Turn our hearts again to You that we may choose life.
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