For those reading this at a time other than October of 2017, the nation at this time is still reeling after the shooting in Las Vegas. Lots of attention has been given the event, the worst mass shooting (so far) in these modern United States.
And, perhaps, when you read this, a clear reason for the attack may have surfaced. But things like this, even though done by one person, could be considered a form of terrorism.
When I lived in Iowa, I remember hearing that terrorism could be considered something as simple as the action of a person throwing something out of their car window as they passed another person on a bicycle, done in order to scare the other person. That was called terrorism. It is something that simple.
At the heart of it, terrorism is a love for that feeling of power when someone else is made afraid. Some people would love more power. It is that simple.
And terrorism is certainly not a new thing. It seems that the wicked tenants in the parable for this Sunday are terrorists in a way (Matthew 21:33-46).
At first glance it seems like the tenants are acting like the vineyard is theirs. But when the son comes, it is obvious that they are not thinking that it is theirs. But they see, in their killing of the son, a chance to have the inheritance.
And it is stated as a very good chance. In Luke 20, they are no so confident. They say, 'Let us kill him that the inheritance MAY be ours.' In Mark 12, they are quite confident. They say, 'Let us kill him, and the inheritance WILL be ours.' In Matthew, the confidence is the same, but it is dependent upon their action: 'Let us kill him and have his inheritance.'
But before the action of killing the son, they were terrorists. They were killing, stoning, and beating the servants who were sent their way. It was a variety that showed their power.
Actions carry along with them, the chance to have some power. With power, there is usually the chance to create some terror. There is the chance to be in control of a situation. Some people strive for that.
God is used to people trying to be like him. That was the fault of Adam and Eve at the beginning.
The great part of that story was that he became like us. And then he died a terrible death outside the city walls. God let it all happen.
We should fear God, as the Small Catechism tells us. God could have been the ultimate terrorist. Instead he became the ultimate savior. We should fear AND LOVE God.