Jenny Smyth shares her thoughts on recent news events in the build-up to Easter celebrations across the world.
Watching in disbelief as the fire took hold at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the roar and the heat, the destruction of centuries of craftsmanship, the desecration of a place of pilgrimage and worship, the crowd turned to fervent prayer in silence and in song.
Then as the fire died and dawn came firefighters and priests entered the blackened shell, stepping through the heaps of ash. Pungent with smoke, there stood the golden cross shining forth from the devastation. What a poignant image as we approach Good Friday knowing that Easter follows.
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)
I am reminded of another image I received from our partners in Egypt in 2013 of a church in Suez. A terror attack left a burnt-out shell. In the blackened remains of the church, two children stand in prayer. (Image: Anglican Diocese of Egypt)
Three churches had been attacked in the ongoing situation of persecution. The Anglican pastor, Rev. Ehab Ayoub, said ‘As we shared in the same suffering, we want to support each other and be unified for the glory of the Lord.’ When asked about the perpetrators he responded ‘We will continue to love and serve our neighbours as Jesus Christ teaches us, no matter what happens. It is our duty and our joy!’
Bishop Mouneer urges his people to find a faith filled response to their suffering: ‘In a time like this as the Middle East goes through turmoil we need a different spirit. A spirit of trust and faith in God’s promises.’
So many of our global partners are living in situations of deep darkness and suffering, let us stand with them in prayer in a spirit of trust and faith in God’s promises.
‘Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him’ James 1:12 NIV
‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ John 8:12
As we celebrate life bursting from the grave this Easter may our faith and hope be invigorated and let us devote ourselves, our time, our skills and our gifts to making a difference for those around us. Let us invest in things that last forever. Alleluia He is Risen!
‘The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out’
John 1:5 The Message