Enough is enough.
So when we read today, about Jesus warning the disciples to not be let astray, that these wars and conflict are just birthing pangs, I imagine myself as one of those disciples challenging him: do not talk of birthing pangs as if the deaths of innocent people are the pain we must suffer to get somewhere good. The very thought of that frustrates me in anger. I want a better answer than that. A better answer for the deaths of more 127 people. A better answer for the world I fear my children may inherit.
Then I take a breath, swallow down my anger. And I try to listen to Jesus, a person of peace, a person who understands righteous indignation, a person who lived a life of sacrifice.
I try to hear what Jesus is saying to me, on this morning, across the wide space of two thousand years.
And I hear something else.
Do not be led astray, Jesus warns. And I know that in fearful, vengeful times like this we are most susceptible to falling off the path we want to stay on, the one guided by reason and reflection, peace and hope.
Perhaps Jesus understood how the anger we feel can be righteous and when it can be destructive. Which way we go depends on which voices we hear, and which thoughts we dwell on.
In the midst of what happened in Paris on Friday night, we saw signs of both. On Twitter, the chatter quickly turned to revenge - even before all details are known - and racism against an entire people and an entire faith. But there were quiet voices in the middle, calling for a pause, reminding us that this is the work of extremists driven by hate. We must not become extreme ourselves.
And then there were the people in the stadium singing the French national anthem as they were evacuated - linked in resolve. And the people who sent word across twitter that they had safe havens to offer anyone caught outside. And the first responders who risked their lives.
This is what righteous anger looks like. Resolve. Resolve to get through, to stand together, to see the other side.
And perhaps this what Jesus means by birthing pangs - not that they are necessary, but that when we respond with reason and resolve and hope, we can move forward into a better world. That we can choose whether we add something to this place. We decide whether, from these ashes of despair, we will be resurrected.
And so we can find a better anger, a stronger anger. We can be resolved. We must reach out rather than judge in sweeping strokes. We must comfort rather than feed the urge for rash vengeance.
We must not be led astray. Where shall we look? To the kindness of the Good Samaritan. To the wise answers Jesus gave to the devil in the wilderness. To the calming of the storm on the sea of Galilee. To the unexpected wisdom of the woman at the well.
So let us hold onto our anger, as we hold our sisters and brothers in our hearts. And let us hope our anger is the fuel that steers us out of apathy, out of complacency, onto the righteous path which Jesus has laid out before us.