Crime Pays! Word on the Week 18th January 2020.
When you survey the bloodshed of this week you see the ugly face of crime. It is as if the whole country has been affected by an incurable virus which can only be curtailed not cured. It broke out in Drogheda, the North-side of Dublin and Cork. In these places it became visible in the form of dead bodies and in one case a dismembered corpse.
Driven by the craving for drugs and paid for out of the relatively prosperous times we live in, the demand rises. Drug bills add up (who does the addition – who dare argue with the arithmetic) and the wider family are called upon to clear the debt. Fear is on the side of the debt-collector and no threat can be lightly dismissed.
For those who cannot pay there is a job offer of sorts. They can join the gang and pay off the balance due by doing what was done to them – intimidating the customer. Recruitment amongst young boys is particularly insidious. They can deliver the drugs, largely un-noticed, and reap the reward of designer clothing. Who wouldn’t go for ‘Boss’ gear at age 14 and the promise of a BMW at age 17!
The 17-year-old who was cut into pieces this week had been involved, among other things, in petrol bombing the houses of rival gang members and received a custodial sentence which, unfortunately for him, was suspended. This murder seems to have been designed to maximise the fear factor sending notice to rival gangs to keep off ‘my patch’. The bosses of these gangs avoid the limelight perhaps living abroad. Their ability to avoid capture must make on the ground policing a daunting task.
For them crime pays. They live in luxury. Their consciences have been hardened or as Scripture puts it, consciences have been seared as with a hot iron (1 Timothy Chapter 4 verse 2). For those murdered crime pays a dreadful price – their lives.
Scripture promises a payday – For the wages of sin is death; but it also majors on the fact that, the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans chapter 6 verse 23). This gift of God is a gift of love from the heavenly Father. Like other gifts it required no payment. It is received by the empty hand of faith. The faith is in the resurrected Jesus Christ. The love of the Father is greater than your sin. There is no sin that Jesus did not die for – every sin can be forgiven by His grace (St John Chapter 3 verse 16 and 1 John Chapter 1 verse 5 to 7).
So every time someone asks you to snort a couple of lines of cocaine on a Friday night remember that they are supporting the drug gangs, the cultivation of the plants and the destruction of many lives. Show them a better way – the way of Christ for this life and the next, (I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (St John chapter 14 verse 6).