So, it happened again.
This time, Brussels, Belgium. Another vicious attack in the name of radical Islam. And it won’t be the last.
Fear is a perfectly understandable reaction. As is disgust.
And it is perfectly reasonable, critical even, to want to do all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, our countries.
And as Christians we should expect, demand even, that our civil governments do every reasonable thing to protect their citizens – because we believe civil authority is “God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrong doer.” (Romans 13:4/1 Peter 2:14).
And – I’m no foreign policy expert – but I sure wish the West would stand up with a stronger unified voice and say to the Islamic World, especially our allies like Turkey and Jordan “Hey, if you don’t want the rest of the world sticking their noses in your business, then help us put a stop to this!”
This past Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday – where our King Jesus rode into town on a donkey.
A donkey. Not a War Horse. Not a conquering steed. A lowly, humble, awkward donkey. Not very impressive.
Now, the book of Revelation does speak of a time when he comes with a sword on a white horse to “strike down the nations”. But we’re not there yet. We’re still in the humble servant phase.
The humble servant rode into town on the donkey to die. Because “greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
That’s the kind of love that John talks about in 1 John 4:3 – “Perfect love drives out fear.”
We’ve got nothing to be afraid of. Caution – sure. But fear – not for the follower of Christ. For we have already “died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”. (Colossians 3:3).
Because the death of the humble servant who rode into town on a silly donkey was not the end of the story.
This Sunday we will celebrate the victory of our King Jesus over death – and if we are his we are untied with him in his resurrection, that we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4-5).
So, if your vocation includes working in the civil government to keep us safe – please do the best you can and thank you for your service. If not, pray for the people of Belgium like we prayed for Charleston and Paris and San Bernadino last year – not generic prayers, but prayers for healing and hope in Jesus. Pray that Belgium would recover its historic rootedness in Christ and His Church.
Pray for Shalom… which is also translated Salam.
And since we’ve nothing to fear – next time you see a lady at the grocery store in a hijab – smile and say “Salam.”
Or one better, skip HEB next time you need to grab some meat and go to the halal market at Wurzbach & I-10 and greet the butcher with “As-salamu-alaikum.” (I tried this last week – I got free chicken kababs!)
Those words mean, “Peace be upon you.” Which is just what Jesus said the night after he rose from the dead. He said them to his disciples, who were hiding from religious extremists (John 20:19).
Because there’s nothing to fear.
(Image Credit: Vincent Brassinne)