Yesterday morning was probably a normal Sunday morning service for most Christians here in North America where we spent a few hours in worship of the Lord with those in our community who are linked together with us through the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. What some of us don’t know is just how fortunate we are to have the opportunity once the service is done to walk home in a relatively peaceful environment. Let’s face it, none of us where too worried about walking to our cars yesterday morning. Most of us weren’t wondering if someone was going to be waiting for us outside or if the stranger that entered the church was going to commit any act of violence. We are all at ease when we settle to pray, sing hymns and be edified. The only distraction we can expect is that of a child who needs to be taken out of the room after a temper tantrum. Yet, this is not the case is many areas in the Middle East and elsewhere where Christians who gather to worship on Sundays are very well risking their very lives. Just yesterday a group of Islamic militants entered into a church in Pakistan killing approximately 78 people and this is just a tip of the iceberg. In many places the worship service is held in hiding due to the fact that this mere act of Worship is outlawed by the government or by religious extremist.
While I know most Christians in North America (even here in apathetic Moncton) are sympathetic towards those Christians who have been murdered for their beliefs, my question is: how close do you really feel to these individuals who are Christians in these Majority Muslim countries? If you are a Christian, do these people really mean something to you? I know these are difficult questions to answer but they are questions that require of us to ponder their reality nonetheless. We as people have a real difficult time feeling for someone we’ve never met. This is a reality that we are all guilty of. We often will express our outrage or sorrow but rarely is it truly heartfelt. We see tragedy everyday on the television and as soon as the segment is done we move on to our normal lives without skipping a beat. What if, however, the segment on the news was announcing that one of your siblings had just been murdered by a ruthless gang of murderers? How quickly do you gather that you would move on? Our reaction to such news would certainly cause us overwhelming grief. What we sometimes forget is that through the blood of the covenant of the Lord Jesus Christ, through our New Birth, we become adopted into the family of God. God becomes our Father in a very special way and we as believers become brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We have a family that is bonded together by the person of Jesus Christ and our love for one another should surpass even that of an earthly family. The horrors of the mass murder of Christians in these countries should be a difficult tragedy to bear and it certainly should bring us to our knees. We should be shocked and grieved by the news of the murder of a family member.
Let’s not forget those who died for their faith in Christ. Let’s show support for these brethren by remembering their families in our prayers and earnestly offering ourselves in any way we can.