Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Reflection: A Time of Joy and Shame

Like millions of Christians the world over, my family and I recently attended Holy Week and Easter services. We sang songs of worship to honor and celebrate our Lord’s sacrifice. We participated in Communion and listened to memorable sermons. It was truly an awesome, uplifting experience.

Then a couple of days later I read an open letter by Bashar Warda, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil in northern Iraq, and my joy turned to personal shame. 

Yes, shame. While I worried about arriving at church early to sit in MY seat before the twice-yearly crowd arrived, countless Christian (and Muslim) lives have been destroyed in Iraq, Kenya, Syria, Libya, and Pakistan. While I worried about eating too much at our Easter dinner, ISIS, in a single day, had wiped out thirteen Iraqi communities whose Christian heritage stretches back 2,000 years, long before the birth of Islam.  

In his letter, Archbishop Warda tells of 80+ year old Gazella, a brave woman who ISIS terrorists told to convert “on pain of death” and promising her paradise if she did so.

Gazella's respose? “'My vision of paradise is not yours. It is about love, forgiveness, peace and mercy. But if you want to kill me for what I believe, I am willing to die.’”

By the grace of God, the terrorists let her go, unharmed.

Dear Lord, if I could only be so brave! Forgive me for my pettiness. 

No comments:

Post a Comment