“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”- Psalm 118:17
Beloved in Christ,
Once again we grieve – for lives tragically cut short in Paris and Beirut – and for our own sense of security which is lost to us for awhile.
We pray for the victims and their families. Lord, have mercy.
Even as we pray, how else will we respond? Walking the way of Jesus is challenging when violence strikes close to our hearts. When we are at risk or fearful, what does it mean that Jesus says to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to see the face of Christ on the face of our neighbor – especially our refugee neighbor?
The attacks in Paris are shocking and yet, it’s not just Paris. I heard in a sermon today at the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from General Secretary, Olav Fykse Tveit: “The reality of Paris is the reality of the world.”
During our executive committee meeting, we have already remembered that Burundi may be on the verge of a Rwanda-like genocide, millions of families in Syria are displaced, and violence thrives in American cities and towns.
Dr. Tveit asked, “When so many die, why do we live?” His answer was this verse from Psalm 118 – “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
It’s a good verse for reflection in this moment. Even as we lament, even as we seek to shore up our own sense of security, the answer to violence surely comes from more of us living fully to “recount the deeds of the Lord.” The God who brought wanderers through the wilderness safely to the Promised Land and and exiles back home again is the same God who walked the earth as Jesus to show us the way of justice and peace, of love and wholeness.
Even as we grieve, may we find the courage to walk in Christ’s way, that our lives may recount the deeds of the Lord.