SCRIPTURE: Acts 5:30 (CEB)
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
STORY shared by Beauty Maenzanise:
A young girl of primary school age was visiting her grandparents soon after the Zimbabwe liberation struggle. When she was with them, she noticed there was no United Methodist Church in their area. Without fear of what adults might say, this little child organized a worship service at her grandparents’ homestead. Many Christians in Zimbabwe were still hiding for fear of being discovered and persecuted for their faith affiliation. But such fear found no place in the heart of this young girl. Today a flourishing parish exists precisely because of this young girl. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
A single child didn’t know enough to be afraid. A single child didn’t live in terror. A single child dared to do what others were fearful of doing. A single child believed the Easter declaration and stepped out with courage. A single, young child! With holy boldness she followed her heart.
Yesterday terror struck in Boston. A single act of anger ... a single act of hate ... a single strike for terror. A single act meant to bring fear into our lives. A single act by a coward ... a single act by someone who would like to destroy our liberty and wipe away our freedom ... a single act by someone who wanted to crucify Christ all over again ... a single act that would have put Christ back into the grave. But, alas Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
Our initial reaction was sadness and sympathy for those touched by this tragedy. Our initial reaction was to recall 9/11 and point a finger towards those of a different nationality and faith. Our initial reaction was to hunt them down … to get them … to beat them up. Our initial reaction was anger ... our initial reaction was one of bitterness. But where is the risen Christ in all of this? Where might be the voice of at least a single young voice who, in a time of fear, chose to bring people together for worship and praise.
A test of our resurrection faith came our way yesterday. Do we respond in fear and anger … or with a living vital faith that would dare call people together in the backyard of a homestead to worship the risen Christ?
Guide us Lord … guide us because we are confused. There is a battle raging within between our love of country and our commitment to be Kingdom people. Guide us Lord … guide us.