This past week brought word of another tragic shooting of a police officer who serves our community in the valley of the sun. While there has been increased attention to methods of law enforcement and police brutality, by all accounts Officer David Glasser was indicative of most law enforcement, selflessly protecting his community. He was shot and killed responding to a call, a domestic disagreement that had become volatile.
As devastating it is to hear of this senseless violence, the death of a 35 year old married father of two, the story pointed to an even more sinister condition that too often characterizes modernity. Officer Glasser and several other police officers were responding to what appears to be a conflict between a father and adult son. The details are murky, but what is clear is the relationship of father and adult son that ought to be one of love, friendship, and respect had spiraled out of control. A call was placed to law enforcement and the tragic moments that followed resulted in the death of not only Officer Glasser but also the 18 year old adult son.
Familial violence is nothing new. In fact, Genesis 4 records the first murder as a jealously fueled rage by Cain that cost his brother Abel his life. Ever since the first sin in the garden, relationships, even family relationships have been marred by selfishness, abuse, envy, and even violence (Genesis 4:1-8).
The message of the gospel is a redemptive story, even redeeming lives previously controlled by mistrust, addiction, and rage. The power of Jesus Christ rescues from sin and death and restores families to what God has designed to be, a new creation reflecting the love and mercy of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It is for this reason, we believe the gospel is transformative, not just to prepare us for eternal life, but also to help us grasp a glimpse of what kingdom living will be like. The gospel produces relationships characterized by true sacrificial love for Christ and one another (Ephesians 5:25-29). These relationships can be a powerful statement about the worth and all surpassing value of Jesus Christ.