Monday, January 3, 2011

A World Away

Did you go to church yesterday? Did you soak in the love of our God, lift your voice in song, take communion?

Did you close your eyes in prayer, and open them to the sound of glass breaking, of screaming, of the scent of blood?

Did you see the blood and bodies of your fellow worshippers before you?

Did you cry out, go to your knees?


Your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ did.

This is Alexandria, Egypt on New Year's day. This is a Coptic church. A christian church. Where men and women just like you were worshipping with their families. With their babies. They went to begin the new year with God.

As they were singing hymns, a bomb went off, killing 21 of them. Injuring many others.

It is a world away. But distance does not change the heart or the faith. These are God's children. His beloved creation, massacred.

They lie still now. Some of them cannot be found at all. Their bodies were obliterated by hate. Their families mourn. Their children weep.

It is a world away, and yet, it is right here on our doorstep. Because we are all one. If one of the collective is taken, we mourn. We feel it. Their blood is our blood, because it is all Christ's blood.

Christ shed blood for all of us. And all of us who love Him, belong to one another.

Do not turn away from this. Do not pretend it does not matter. Lift your voice to heaven. Pray for those who are left here, in this time, when killing His children just for loving Him is real. Is happening. Right in front of us.
Don't turn away.

It's a world away. And yet, my friends, it could be us. It IS me. This is my adopted faith. This is the faith I was baptized in, married in. This is the faith that my children were baptized in.

This is my faith. This is a faith so ardent in it's love for God that it has not changed since the Ascension. A faith so strong, that the priests came from behind the altar doors after the blast, and began comforting and signing the cross over the people. They also finished mass...because God is more important than fear.

A faith so strong that they will not allow the blood of the dead to be cleaned from the stone of the church. They won't let it be washed away. It remains. They honor it. It is pure.

It is a world away, and is right here, in our hearts. Because they are us. And they continue to love the God we love, despite being persecuted for it. Despite the danger.

They continue, despite the blood. Despite the pain and the fear. They bow their heads to God.

Please bow your heads with them. Lift the Copts of Egypt in prayer.