René Maciel: Jesus is the answer to Orlando

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How sad and tragic that so many lives were lost in the mass shooting in Orlando. And it’s sad that many may have been lost to eternity. It stops us in our tracks and we begin to look for answers.

rene maciel headshot130René MacielThe world we live in today is dangerous and dark. In the daily news we hear of tragedy, horror, death and sadness—a world out of control, a world full of hopelessness and hate.

It doesn’t seem that long ago when I would watch Andy Griffith in the little town of Mayberry. The show portrayed hope and goodness, kindness and caring for our neighbors. It helped us see the good in people and gave us a sense of comfort.

Today, many communities struggle with a variety of issues that have us feeling uncomfortable—poverty, crime, corruption with our government officials, racism, addictions, depression and acts of hate, to name a few. These are acts and problems that divide people and destroy lives, atrocities of terror that make us feel unsafe and looking for answers.

texas baptist voices right120As I listened to one political analyst talk about how one candidate is dividing our country, I thought about how our country already is divided—separated from truth and hope, separated from justice and mercy, separated from the answer to our sin.

One day as a boy, my dad brought home an album by Andre Crouch, an African-American gospel singer. One of the famous songs he sang has been stuck in my head all these years. It was a live recording, and he spoke these words before he sang the song: “There is power in the name of Jesus. There is healing in the name of Jesus. There is salvation in the name of Jesus. The Bible says that demons tremble at the sound of that name Jesus. Jesus is the answer for the world today, above there’s no other. Jesus is the way.”

I can think of no other answer that we need for our world today than Jesus. How can we as Texas Baptists influence this dangerous world? How can we bring hope? How can we make a difference? I think we can; I think we have the answer.

We can be agents of goodness and kindness; we can love and show mercy; we can care and serve others. We can bring hope and light to this dark world. We have the answer. We have Jesus, and we are called to go into the world and preach the good and hopeful news of Jesus.

My prayer is that we will be more than just a convention. Continue to pray how we can share Christ to Texas and the world.

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Jesus is the answer for the world today.

René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and president of Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.

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