The Kaiser Chiefs saw it coming a while back but the rest of us were taken by surprise as we witnessed the scenes in London and the rest of the UK this August. Here in Northern Ireland there was a smug reaction and a lot of wallowing in self pity as we watched the politicians, the police and the press grapple with violence that has typified our summer period for far too long.
There are many contributing factors which motivated the looters and rioters but I was struck by the quote above in last Saturday’s Guardian by Jack Levin (Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University in Boston.) The strong desire for acceptance among young people is a force that is being abused by many in our world – the riots were just another expression of the lengths young people will go to in order to feel a connection with someone other than themselves. Levin likens rejection as a teenager with receiving the death penalty. This may seem too strong for some people but I think he’s onto something here..
We need to tell the next generation that in Jesus they’re accepted by the Only One whose assessment of them really counts.
I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God… Jeremiah 24:7