Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Murdered NYPD Officer's Family Model's the Message of Christmas

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We have become aware of the assassination of two New York police officers this past Saturday. Both shot in the head while sitting in the police car.

We may not be aware that one of the officers, Rafael Ramos, had just completed chaplain's training and was to be commissioned as a NYPD chaplain the day he was murdered.

The Wall Street Journal reports that officer Ramos was a deeply spiritual man and had earlier posted a quote on his Facebook page which read, "If your way isn't working, try God's way."

Instead of calling for vengeance or agitating for protests and marches, Ramos' family members are modeling the true message of Christmas.

The Wall Street Journal says the officers were members of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn but had been assigned to patrol a public housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district.

Ironically, it was the Bedford-Stuyvesant where my friend, the late David Wilkerson, launched his ministry to gang members and ultimately launched Teen Challenge.

It was also the backdrop for the film, "The Cross and the Switchblade."

Christian Post says, "Officer Ramos was passionate about serving God and saw his work as a police officer as a form of ministry."

He would have been commissioned a lay chaplain this past Saturday---the day he was murdered.

Rev. Marcos Miranda, president of the New York State Chaplain Task Force where Ramos had been studying to be certified as a chaplain says, "He was a kind man."

Miranda says, "It was an honor to have him. He had just taken the 10-week course and was a faithful member of his local church, Christ Tabernacle. He was due to graduate this past Saturday where we graduated 144 chaplains."

He says he will "always remember his kindness the most---even the kindness in his eyes---in our talks he ask what I thought of him being a police officer, and I said it was an honorable job."

Miranda recalls, "He said he thought it was ministry because he was helping those in need."

Ramos' cousin Ronnie Gonzales told the WSJ, "My cousin had a couple priorities in his life, one was God, because he was a God loving man. I wish I could be half the man my cousin was."

Ramos' 13 year old son, Jaden, posted this on his Facebook page: "He was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead for just being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."

Cousin Ronnie told PIX 11 News in New York, "He's in God's hands now---we don't believe in vengeance, we just forgive."

This stands in stark contrast to the Al Sharpton-Jessie Jackson inspired and agitated marches in streets across America where people are chanting, "What do we want? Dead cops!" "What do we want? Dead cops!"

The Ramos family is modeling, in the most powerful human way possible, the true message of Christmas.

It is the message of giving and forgiving.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would believe on Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Rafael Ramos will not perish.

May his message linger in both the projects and the upscale neighborhoods of America as we celebrate the birth of the Savior---the Son of God---the Prince of Peace.

Be Joyful. Be Blessed.