March 22, 2016
March 22, 2016
"We serve a Risen Savior! He's in the world today.
We know that he is living, whatever foes may say."
(UMH 310, He Lives, paraphrased)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness, and Hope of the World!
God is weeping with humanity today. Many of us awoke today to the horrific news that came out of Brussels, Belgium. The accounts are devastating. The latest numbers I saw reported were over 150 wounded and over 30 dead. And we know those numbers will increase as the confusion subsides and the care begins. Each death represents the life of someone who was created in God's image. The survivors face a different future than the one they had imagined even yesterday. Once again the forces of evil have shown their ugly head with another hideous act. The ongoing saga of good and evil continues. The confrontation never seems to take a rest in this broken world.
We must be Christ-like as the bearers of Christ's love and grace for such a time as this. We must not be quick to judge all people of any one particular religion or nationality in broad strokes because of the acts of a few people. It is imperative that as Christians we respond in the manner in which God yearns and longs to see us act. The authentic identity of God's people will be in the outpouring of care and support for all those in need. God was present and will continue to be present in Belgium. Our prayers are with those who are directly affected and harmed by the diabolic terrorist acts; we pray for their comfort, strength, healing and hope.
We are in Holy Week. We know that the events of this week are yet another example of the conflict between good and evil. Evil is always threatened by good for fear that good will ultimately triumph. Despite those who tried to eliminate Jesus' message of love and forgiveness and defeat the Way of Jesus, his death was not the final word. It is hard for us to imagine what it must have been like that first Easter morning to be Mary or one of the other women who arrived at the tomb only to discover that the body of Jesus was absent and then be told: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as he said." (Matthew 28: 5-6) God had achieved what Jesus had said God would do. The battle against the power of evil was won once and for all. God was, is, and eternally will be on the side of good.
Yes, my sisters and brothers in Christ, the battle between good and evil continues to be waged, and at times we might even feel that evil has the upper hand. However, this week, perhaps more than any other week in our faith, reminds us that God always has the final word. "Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Psalm 30:5) May the good news of resurrection of Jesus Christ reassure us of the ultimate and already won triumphs of our God for the redemption of world.
Grace and Peace,
Jeremiah J. Park
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