It was during the course of last Sunday (Easter Day) that news broke of the terrorist attack on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka. The death toll now stands at over three hundred. My initial reaction is simply shock and sadness at yet another attack in which the perpetrators’ love for their own ideas has led them to inflict such dreadful suffering on fellow human beings. This was truly perverse.
At the time of writing, no-one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However it is telling that churches (both Catholic and Protestant) were targetted, and on the greatest day of celebration in the Christian calendar. The Bible teaches that “all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12), and these brothers and sisters have paid the price for gathering in Christ’s name. Sri Lankan Christians will now be thinking twice before they gather. We ought to pray that they would not be frightened to return to church, because gathering is a fundamental part of the Christian life. For our part, we must also decide not to neglect gathering as Christians, whether for fear of violence or (more likely) simply having other things to do. It is precious to God that we take the time to gather with his people, even though it is difficult.
Even in the face of such horror, we can confidently pray to God that he will do justice, and enable the families of victims to find true hope in Christ. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
- Our Autumn Concert is this Saturday, 3.00 pm. Please come along and invite a friend.
- Don’t forget the SRE East Supporters’ Afternoon Tea this afternoon. We also hope to see Jono Campbell at St Jude’s next week.
- Kids’ Club, Youth and some Bible study groups return this week (see back page for details).