It’s tough to write on such a subject a as the Boston bombings so soon afterwards the event. I want to extend my sympathies to the victims and their families. However, I’ve seen a slightly worrying tend starting to appear on Facebook. Is the images contrasting the Boston bombings with a bombing somewhere in the Middle East, generally passing the question why the Boston bombings received blanket media coverage, while the bombings in the Middle East didn’t receive any.
Is this a legitimate question to ask? Yes. Is the right time to ask it on the very same day? I don’t think so.
By saying that one bombing should have received coverage over another is saying, in effect, that some peoples lives are more important than others. Whether that’s American lives over those of the Middle Eastern lives, or the other way around, either is not right. As a Christian, I believe that we are all made in God’s image, therefore we are all equally important to God.
So as Christians, how should we respond? Firstly, with prayer – for those affected by violence all over the world. Secondly, no matter who is responsible for these acts of terrorism, we need to remember that we cannot respond to violence with violence if we hope to achieve peace. You cannot achieve peace by fighting for it. As such, we need to be promoting a strong nonviolent response. How that will look like will depend on who is found to be responsible for the bombings. However, any response should be one that embraces nonviolent principles.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
At any time such as this, we need to strengthen our resolve to turn from evil and instead to do good. We need to seek peace and to pursue it in our world. We need to be the voice shouting in the wilderness of the new way, the way of peace, of nonviolence in ways that provide real solutions to the issues at hand.
Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29 (NIV) Continue reading 7 Promises of Peace
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Psalm 23 (NIV)
Perhaps it’s just because I haven’t been paying as much attention as I should have been, or perhaps it’s because I got complacent thinking I knew this psalm, but I can’t remember having ever noticed the last two verses of this reading. It’s really inspiring. I especially love the line “my cup overflows.” It’s something that I’ve reflected on a bit recently, and has been a continuing theme at Floreat. “God is more than enough.” When they raised $12,000 at their fete up on last year’s $7,000 – “He is more than enough.” The more I discover about my wonderful girlfriend, the more that makes me love her – “He is more than enough” When I worry that I might not be able to put together a sermon for the upcoming youth service – “He is more than enough.” Trust in the Lord, and what will happen? “… goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
What a wonderful setting of the 23rd Psalm. The 6th movement in John Rutter’s Requiem, a musical setting of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, it was completed and first performed in 1985, but this movement was originally written in 1976 as a separate anthem. It’s got a wonderfully calm setting – the oboe playing its wonderful pastoral role, and some wonderful harmonic painting.