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Operating on the heart that is damaged

We woke recently to the news that an 85-year-old priest in France had been murdered while carrying out a church service.
Nanjing Night Net

His throat was cut (beheaded according to some reports) in the presence of regular parishioners and a group of nuns by a teenager.

It was the day after news broke of the shocking mistreatment of a young man in custody in the Northern Territory, and of video footage being captured of a staffer in a nursing home attempting to suffocate a resident. This was certainly not the first Christian being killed because he was a Christian in recent days, nor was this the first report of abuse in custody, or even of a health worker taking the decision to end a person’s life.

But what interests me is our predictable and ineffective response. There are inevitably calls for tougher laws, and lengthy investigations as to why these things happen, but in the end we actually know what is wrong, and it isn’t as simple as our education, laws, and procedures. What is wrong is that people have sick and damaged hearts.

Jesus said “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45), and he also said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matthew 15:19).

This is why Jesus didn’t seek to lead a country or an army or simply teach morality. He said that he came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).For sick and damaged hearts we need appropriate care, and for hearts filled with evil, the only right surgeon is Jesus, bringing to bear the scalpel of grace, forgiveness and love.

Faith does matter. Rules only deal with the external, they don’t deal with the heart. The great hope for humanity actually lies with God – the God who said through the prophet Ezekiel,I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.(Ezekiel 36:26)

Murdered: Father Jacques Hamel, the 85-year-old priest who was killed when two armed men stormed his church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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