I rode into work about 6:30 this morning and turned on NPR on the way. They were doing a special report, telling the world that there was a shootout in Boston overnight with the two bombing suspects from the Boston Marathon. The entire city of Boston has been shut down, no taxis, no public transit, and residents are being asked to stay indoors with their doors locked, and to only open up for correctly identified authorities. Video – really audio – of the shootout surfaced on Youtube this morning. They were reporting that it may have begun when they jumped a police officer, robbed a 7-eleven and carjacked a Mercedes SUV. Next came a shootout in a neighborhood. The oldest brother seems to have been shot during that shootout which an eyewitness says involved the two throwing something he thought seemed like hand grenades. The surviving brother drove from Cambridge to Watertown dropping bombs along the way and shooting back and forth with police. Apparently one officer involved is dead and another is in surgery.
Latest reports say that the survivor is holed up in this house. Reports also say that a third suspect has been arrested. The reporter on the scene said that it was strangely quiet in Boston. She said it was like a blizzard without the snow, no cars, no people walking around.
I’m supposed to be writing a sermon right now, but am just completely on edge, listening to this and watching reports on my computer. It’s such a surreal moment for me. When I write a sermon I’m always trying to talk about the scriptures and what they teach us about the kingdom of God, how to pursue the kingdom in the way of Jesus. But I also think about the kingdom of the world, and how the world runs completely counter to the the kingdom. I’m just living in that tension this morning in a really intense way.
I’m reminded that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace. Those who pursue this kingdom will receive life. Those who pursue the kingdom of the world, they choose all of the worst things about life – violence, hatred, fear, death. At times like these I’m amazed at how stark the contrast is between these two kingdoms, and how utterly surprising evil appears to my eyes, when I’ve been trying to keep them on God’s kingdom. It is grotesque.
I’m praying this morning that no more people get killed, and that this will be over soon. I’m also praying that some kind of good will come of this, that the peace of Christ will reign and rule in more hearts today that the day before.