The radicals cut off a journalist’s head. From his pictures, he looks like a brave and intelligent man, good looking, hunkered down behind a partially blown up wall reporting the truth. A human being. Now gone. Another is in line for the same treatment.

The violence is non-sensical, an old fight. It has nothing to do with the journalist, other than his desire to tell the facts, to inform the public, and to shine a light on the truth.

I no longer watch the evening news. The face of the one who’s next. The spiraling conflicts, the racial violence, the plotting maniacal czars of all varieties. In every instance, religious or political ideologues, flush with power, strive to impose their will on those who simply want to live quiet lives, raise families, go to work, and care for their aging parents.

This isn’t Eden. Daily, we have the reminders.

Because evil came into the world and corrupted mankind, this is what we have to deal with until Christ returns – violent atrocities, religion that seeks to conquer rather than to save, children caught mid-conflict, starving or dying, so small and innocent. Hatred based on the thin layer of melanoma in our skin, the difference of our beliefs, or the forks in our family tree.

Yet we are all children of our mother Eve. We are family.

How long, Lord Jesus, before you return and bring justice? How long until you bring your peace?

We will all stand before you and give a verbal account of our doings and our motives. We witness these crimes and are overwhelmed by their atrocity, thinking our own petty hatreds and unkindnesses are small.

But they are not.

We will confess each unlovely thought, unkind action, prejudiced motive, and intolerant cruelty. And we will grieve, for the problem starts within each one of us. Without the blood of Christ spilled for us, we have no hope at all.

Mea Culpa.

Against you, Lord, have I sinned in harming others, even people I love, by word, deed, and inaction.

Jesus, look at your world. We’ve wrecked it. All of us.

Why did you love us enough to come down here and shed your blood for us? How did you hold yourself up on that cross as these transgressions flitted through your mind and you bore the wrath of God in our place? How tempting it must have been to call 10,000 angels to whisk you away!

But you didn’t. You willingly died for us. Your love is incomprehensible.

Come quickly, Lord. Have mercy.