It’s been a horrific half-week for the people of Boston, Massachusetts and West, Texas.
Sudden and terrible blasts have instantaneously stolen lives, inflicted burns, ripped open lacerations, and laid low longstanding structures.
Combinations of some the simplest everyday substances can result in a bomb. Preliminary reports from last night’s fertilizer plant explosion suggest that water provided the final ingredient fusing the gigantic explosion.
There are the accidental ones – such as the one in West last night, at the oil refinery in Texas City in 2005, and the Nevada PEPCON disaster in 1988.
Then there are the intentional incendiary devises too numerous to list – Monday’s Boston Marathon, Oklahoma City in 1995, the Lockerbie, Scotland Pan Am explosion in 1988, the London and Madrid subway system detonations in 2005, and countless suicide missions on international soil.
Intentional or accidental, bombs are unspeakably scary because they catch us by such surprise, give us so little time to react or retreat, and do unthinkable damage before we can count to three.
When will they ever end? Unfortunately, the intentional ones will probably never be completely eradicated. The presence of evil is just strong enough on this planet and there are just enough misguided individuals operating about that terrorists are likely to always find a way to inflict their intentional misery on their fellow humankind. A sobering thought, for sure.
I can’t do a lot about the bombs that intentionally detonate in public places. Likewise, I’m pretty powerless to affect accidental explosions in fertilizer plants, factories, mine shafts, and refineries.
However, I have a great deal of control over the seemingly innocent ingredients in my own life which, combined carelessly together, can cause all kinds of damaging effects beyond what I ever dreamed possible. I may not be able to control the world, but with God’s help, I can learn to control my selfish self, my hurtful words, my hardheaded actions, my petulant attitudes, my sick sense of entitlement.
Let’s talk about blessings instead.
Youth choir ministry not only diffuses potential bombs in teenagers’ lives, but it teaches us all – students, directors, and adult leaders alike – how to build positive blessings out of the individual ingredients found in our lives. With glorious choral structure as music, the eternal word of God as text, the joy of community as context, and the presence of Christ at the center, bombs are transformed into blessings on a daily basis.
You are hereby cordially invited to join the mission of music-making in the name of the Prince of Peace.
Blessings to you and yours this day.