The Cost of Discipleship

This morning I read the following news on The Daily Office West website about a tragic shooting that took place at an Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, MD just 30 minutes from my home in Annapolis:

We must begin today with terrible news, which needs the prayers of the entire Church: the shooting on Thursday of the co-rector and parish secretary of St. Peter’s, Ellicott City, Maryland, apparently by a homeless man living nearby in the woods, a regular client of the parish food bank, who became belligerent in recent days and had to be told not to return. The Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn was severely injured and is not expected to live. The administrative assistant, Brenda Brewington, was killed at the scene. The shooter then took his own life. Please pray for their souls, the parish and diocese of Maryland – and make a thorough review of security measures at your church, especially for front-line personnel.

This horrible news reminded me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words: “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die” (The Cost of Discipleship). May those who died in this tragedy rest in peace.

It’s sad that in the richest nation in the world we have homeless people living in the woods, depending on a food bank for their daily bread. It’s sad that a church living the Gospel by feeding the hungry must suffer a tragic and senseless loss for their generosity. It’s sad that it has been years since I have volunteered at a food bank to help those who don’t have enough to eat. Maybe it’s about time I did.

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