My Two Cents
December 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

It was two weeks ago Friday when we received a phone call from Julie Taylor asking about using our sanctuary for the funeral of her son Jordan. That was the first we had heard about Jordan Taylor’s tragic, brutal murder.

Over the next few days the news would tell the story of Jordan. We heard about how he was raised in Catonsville. We heard about how he was known as beloved Coach Jordan to everyone at the Catonsville Y where he worked. We heard about his wife and his plans to start a family.

And then we heard about how he was 295- the two hundred and ninety fifth murder victim in Baltimore City. One night when his home was randomly chosen as a place to break into, thirty one year old Jordan Taylor was killed. His senseless death leaves a family- and an entire generation of young people who came under his influence- deep in grief.

During this season of Advent, when we await the coming of God in the form of a child whose life was cut short by violence, we are wise to pay attention to all the forces at work that cut life short. And here in Baltimore we have a special opportunity to pay attention to the epidemic of gun violence, and how the availability of handguns combines with the desperation of poverty to form a deadly cocktail. Far too many families gather in mortuaries when they should be celebrating graduations, marriages and first jobs. And every time one more dies, a piece of God dies too.

Julie Taylor wound up wisely choosing a much larger sanctuary for her beloved Jordan’s funeral service. But, we can still do our part to honor Jordan’s life. As we worship during this season of waiting, we will remember by name the victims of gun violence here in our city over the prior week. We’ll do so not only to be in solidarity with those families whose holidays will be darkened by the shadows of grief. But also to remember that when God chose to become a human being, she chose to be born in a dangerous place where life was precarious. And this is still where God is to be found.  The flesh that was wounded in the life of Jesus is the same flesh that gets torn apart by flying bullets. Pledging to do whatever we can to end the carnage, is a tangible way of welcoming the Christ child into our midst.

Welcome to worship.