Skip to main content

Life and Love or Death and Hatred?

I have in my possession The Book of Common Prayer published in 1885 for use by The Church of England. I don’t often open it but today I did. One section is entitled “The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels to be used throughout the Year,” where I found the pages for Good Friday. The passage from the epistles is Hebrews 10:1-25 and from the gospels is John 19:1-37. But what grabbed my attention was one of the three collects:
O Merciful God, who has made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to they flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

What really struck me was the contrast between this prayer for “infidels” and Islam’s view and “solution” for infidels. One seeks restoration for them with God and the other seeks their destruction.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18: 23

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

This is what Good Friday is all about. God loves all those he made and wants everyone to live in union with him forever. Our war cry is not one of death and hatred but one of life and love.

Today Canada, the United States of America and other so-called Christian nations are on the battlefield in Islamic countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of our men and women have died fighting for what our countries believe is right—freedom from oppression of any kind. This belief in and desire for freedom springs from our Christian heritage so that even those who have abandoned the way of Jesus continue to hold onto many of his ways.

Freedom. Life. Love. We honour these because 2000 years ago Jesus chose to die a tortuous death on a wooden pole stuck into the ground. How are we honouring his death and his love for us? Have you accepted the gift of grace and forgiveness that is possible because of his death? Have you chosen to make him Lord of your life and Lover of your soul? Have you committed all your ways—your past, present and future—into his hands to do with as he chooses? Have you allowed him to take your “ignorance, hardness of heart and contempt” of his Word and make him your Shepherd?

Jesus, I have no idea who’s reading this post today or in days to come but I pray for those who haven’t yet accepted your gift of life, love and freedom that they will see the love and passion you have for them and turn to all that you offer. I pray for the one who has, just now, made that decision to accept your gift and follow you. Bring other believers around this person to encourage, mentor and love him/her and fill him/her with your Holy Spirit.

If you are such a person, I would love to hear from you, either by e-mail or in a comment below. May God bless you.

Comments

Tomfooleries said…
I agree with you, Debbie, that the wars in the Middle East is a paraphrase of the Crusades in the Middle Ages.

In Go'd sname, let them be; and perhaps, they'd let us be.

Tom
Thanks for posting, Tom. Actually, I wasn't making any comparison between what's happening now and the crusades. Quite the opposite. I was writing in support of what they are doing and why--our soldiers are there to bring life, love and freedom. Canada has lost over 80 of its sons and daughters in Afghanistan and someone told me (I haven't verified this) that the United States has lost around 3000. These wars are being fought at great cost to us but our governments have determined that it is worth it to end oppression for people other than ourselves. We are there because of our love, not because of hatred. We are there because even though many in our countries have abandoned Jesus Christ, we have not yet totally abandoned the love that he has given us. We are there because we want to see life in these countries, rather than death, hatred and oppression.

Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.















My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…