GOOD FRIDAY is a good day to talk guns. At our “Seven Last Words” service, one of our pastors referred to gun violence in two of his sermonettes. I celebrate his love and courage. How appropriate.

Tim’s first word was “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” He cited the forgiving response by the members of Mother Immanuel Church in Charleston towards the shooter, Dylann Roof. Tim said (in my understanding) forgiveness is not affirmation, or it’s all right. Forgiveness holds people accountable while cleansing us of hatred.

His second word was “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He listed several shootings as well as police challenges and natural disasters, crying out after each reality, “My God….”

And the carnage continues. Grieving dampens the souls. White on white, black on black, white on black and black on white, though mostly the same color on the same color. Suicide by gun is the preferred choice in over 60% of gun deaths. Toddlers killing more people than do terrorists because parents leave guns unattended.

37,000 gun deaths a year. We ought to be hemorrhaging forgiveness and hoarse crying for mercy! Thankfully, Jesus goes to bat for us so we can do likewise. The cross is Jesus’ ultimate gun death, once for all, so we can love.

“For God so loved the world….”


Rev. Ron Letnes