Today was quite a day. For starters, the US income tax was 100 years old today. That’s right, back in 1913, the government imposed the first tax on income. However, only 3% of the population was affected and the top tax rate was 7%. Wow – where did those days go? And then, four years later, in 1917, as we entered WWI, the tax rate jumped to 77%. Those must have been wacky days back then. After all, the government had to pay for the war effort.
I had planned to write this post about Tax Day, but with the events that occurred this afternoon, several hours after the finish of the frontrunners of the Boston Marathon, I decided that I should include some comments about the rest of the events that happened today. For today, it is believed that terrorists exploded several bombs in and around Boston, MA, at the finish of the race. Furthermore, there was an additional bomb that was defused before it detonated. And, there are reports that a third bomb went off at the JFK Presidential Library. It seems as there was some confusion as to whether this really was a bomb or whether there was an issue in a mechanical room in the new wing of the library. I’m sure we will know more as events are confirmed throughout the next several days.
One of the interesting things about today is that we don’t know if the bombings were domestically motivated or whether foreign terrorists were at the heart of the plot. And to those people who were hurt or the families of those who were killed, it really doesn’t make any difference. Dead is dead and hurt is hurt. Airport security in the larger cities around the country has been put on high alert and our country has been plunged into a security situation very reminiscent of the way we lived commencing on Sept. 12, 2001.
Mini-marathons in Indianapolis and other sites around the country, as well as tonight’s baseball game celebrating Jackie Robinson have also been the center of attention since this afternoon. Even officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are discussing ways to up the security for people who plan on attending the race in May. And the basketball game between the Pacers and the Boston Celtics scheduled for tomorrow evening has been cancelled.
This week in April also has the dubious distinction of having others tragedy anniversaries associated with it. For example, The Waco assault and the Oklahoma City bombings both occurred on April 19th – Waco in 1993 and Oklahoma City in 1995. The Columbine shootings occurred on April 20, 1999 and the Virginia Tech shootings occurred on April 16, 2007. To top it all off, today was Marathon Monday, the third Monday in April, the day traditionally reserved for the Boston Marathon; the oldest marathon in the country that celebrated its 117th event today.
The Boston Red Sox play in Fenway Park each Marathon Monday, and have for many years now. What most people don’t realize is that Marathon Monday is also referred to Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts and Patriot’s Day in Maine, which at one time was apparently part of Massachusetts. Who would have thought? This day, originally celebrated on April 19th, until 1969 when it was moved to the third Monday of the month, commemorates the beginning of the battles of Lexington and Concord, marking the beginning of the Revolutionary War. It’s a big deal in Boston and the rest of the state.
Regardless of all the things that we remember on this date, we have added another event as a result of the bombings today. I can’t help but believe that God is distressed this evening as He looks down on us and the needless deaths and injuries that happened today. The verse for tonight comes from Jeremiah 30:11, “I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD.” This verse comes in the middle of God’s rebuke of His people. Basically, He lets His people know that He will come to their rescue and will not let their enemies vanquish the Israelites, even though the Israelites have not been totally faithful to God. That’s kind of like us – not completely faithful.
My encouragement this evening is that God will come to our aid as well. Even though we may not be as faithful as God would like, He will not forsake us or forget us. My prayer is that the families of those who were injured or killed today will be comforted by the knowledge that Jesus Christ is their eternal salvation. Hopefully, those folks already know the saving grace that comes from a relationship with God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…