Paris, Prayer, and Terrorism

The attacks this weekend in Paris shocked us all.  The attack was clearly coordinated, just as the United States experienced on 9/11.  Many people changed Facebook status to drape their profile picture in the colors of the French Flag.

Soon, of course, other conversations began.  People blamed President Obama.  Presidential candidates declared this would never happen if they were president.  Some declared they were praying for Paris, while others said prayer didn’t do much good.  Several folks pointed to a simultaneous tragedy in Beirut – twin car bombs killed 44 people there – and wondered why the ISIS event in Paris caused more of a stir than the ISIS event in Beirut.

Preachers weighed in, some declaring that all Muslims are evil and must be eliminated.  Other preachers said we can’t paint all Muslims as evil anymore than we can say the KKK represents all Christians.

In the midst of all these conversations, I wonder what Jesus would say?  Here’s what I think He would say:

  1. Love your enemies.  No doubt Jesus would say that.  That means we want good for them, whether my enemy is a Democrat, a Republican, a Muslim, a Hindu, or an ex-spouse.
  2.  Find a way to bring good to this moment.  The promise of Romans 8:28 is that God can bring good in all things.  France is one of the most secular countries in the world.  May this moment be used for people to find out that God cares for them.
  3. Nations do go to war because nations are made of sinners.  Sometimes, a nation has no choice.  War will never be pure.  God’s grace is large enough to cover the actions of any solider.
  4. Those who make decisions should pray for God’s wisdom.  Allow Him to open their eyes to true reality.
  5. His children should pray for the victims, for healing; for the families of those who lost loved ones, for comfort; for those who live in the effected areas, for knowledge of God’s presence; and for those who committed the crimes, for God to deal with them justly.

To really follow Jesus is not just to post the first thing you think or feel.  To really follow Jesus is to pause and ask Him, “How do I follow you right now?”

2 thoughts on “Paris, Prayer, and Terrorism

  1. Preacher…I love the thought behind this blog. I have been struggling with this since my first deployment to Iraq. After a few tours in Iraq and Afghanistan it is hard for me to see Muslims as anything other than evil. It reminds me of listening to my grandpa while I was growing up. He was a Pearl Harbor survivor and had certain feelings towards the Japanese. While I know God puts us through things to help us grow. I am just not certain if I have to love Muslims to follow God. I know this is not what you are saying. Just some of my thoughts and struggles.

    Like

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