A Rising Response To The Paris Attacks

Multiple attacks, over 100 killed, and hundreds wounded by radicals in Paris. People going about their everyday lives on a Friday night enjoying the City of Light. Daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers murdered by men bent on bringing pain to the world. 

Over the next week, the world will mourn this tragedy and we will try to understand how to move forward. In the subsequent weeks and months armies will be mobilized, bombs will be dropped, freedoms of citizens will be stripped, and we will be soothed into believing the world is safer. 

Paris will fade from our memory and a new radical organization will arise with a different name and similar results. Not because the global community failed to act, but because the pipeline of men and women who desire to give their lives to a cause larger than themselves will not dry up. The fight is not against another nation, but against ideals which are spread from person to person.

People desire to give themselves and their lives to something bigger than they are. Which is why thousands of Europeans are becoming radicals every year. They are buying into the hope of creating a different world in the midst of the current one. 

We can't squash radicalism, we can only create a new space for radical love and self-sacrifice instead of violence. 

Everyone wants to give their lives to a cause. For some it's family, others a career, a social cause, political views, or faith. We all give our lives to something and we all have a choice in where to give our energy.

For years, the Church has set the bar increasingly lower for what it means to follow Jesus. Which has in part left a vacuum of radical love which in turn has been filled with hate and violence. There have always been outliers, people who sell their possessions and live amongst the poor, or those who dedicate their lives to seeing the renewal of the world. But they are just that, outliers.

When Jesus spoke, he most often spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven (God). It was, as he prayed, 'Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' The Kingdom of Heaven is a radical idea that love, grace, generosity, kindness, and peace are of highest value to the world NOT power or influence. 

In response to the Paris attacks...

We mourn the lives that were lost.

Not only the lives of those murdered but the lives of the men who took them. While they committed the acts of terror they too were lost in this tragedy long before the events on Friday night. 

We stand united behind the people of Paris and the world. 

It is clear to us that a bass note in scripture is how much God is for human flourishing and against all pain and suffering. We are deeply burdened by the acts in Paris, and mourn for those who are lost. We are also keenly aware that right now the death toll in Syria and Iraq is over 100,000 people. There will be tens of thousands who die today because they lack access to clean drinking water, simple medical supplies, and food. While terrorism is a horrible reality in our world the Kingdom of Heaven needs to come in many places. 

We are trying to live out a radical life by bringing the Kingdom of Heaven here. 

Many of the writers for The Rising are incredible individuals. They come from different cities, backgrounds, and have very different vocations. Most of them would call themselves Christians although not all would. We all have a keen awareness though that what we do everyday matters. One person can make a difference. Some of us volunteer with the homeless, others run businesses ethically and provide jobs for their community, and still others are combating the hopelessness through their counseling practices. 

While we all go about bringing the Kingdom of Heaven here in different ways, we all believe it's up to ordinary people doing everyday sorts of things that makes a difference. We're not hoping for politicians to change the landscape or putting our heads in the sand hoping for the day we die so we can be rid of this life. We are instead stepping into the mess in our own unique approach. 

You're invited to join us. 

We are inviting you to live out love, grace, generosity, kindness, and peace. To be radical in how you feel wired to bring the Kingdom of Heaven here. It will more than likely look different than our writers, but we all have a part to play. 

Our goal is to see the Church be the Church. To see people across the world be fed, clothed, and cared for. If you're in we'd love to hear your story about what you're doing to change the world for the better. Use the #betherising and tell us what you're doing to sow peace into the world instead of violence. Let's start a conversation that leads to a change where every life is seen as a precious and holy gift. Where poverty can end in our lifetime. And perhaps we will see the Kingdom of Heaven arrive as Jesus spoke of it.