Feast of Isaac Schereschewsky

Dear Brothers and Sisters 

Greetings in the crucified Lord Jesus.  

The attack of Hamas in southern Israel was radically evil. Whenever we encounter this, it is terrible and shocking. In this case, there is an inevitable echo of the pogrom and holocaust. We as Christians have a special responsibility to stand in solidarity with the Jewish people.  

The attack cannot help but remind us, more recently, of ISIS. In the face of such a threat, Israel has a right to defend itself.

But as Christians there is more we need to say. We honor and respect the Islamic faith, and do not associate it with such abhorrent actions. We grieve with the recent victims. We pray for protection for civilians on both sides of the border.  We intercede with the Prince of Peace for a swift end to the war. We continue to hold in prayer Christians throughout the Middle East. We hope that, in time, and by a path we cannot discern, the possibility of peace, both between Israel and the Palestinians, and more widely in the Middle East, might yet be preserved- ‘you intended it for evil, but God for good…’ (Genesis 50:20).




Complete the Race (II Timothy 4:17)

At the end of our vacation we find ourselves in Chicago for its Marathon weekend (the fastest, I have read this morning, perhaps because it is cool and relatively level). Marathons offer many good things. You can see world-class athletes from places like Ethiopia and Kenya. There is a feel of fiesta with signs by family members, getups by some for-fun runners, and food for sale.

But as I looked out my hotel window at 7:30 a.m., I watched the race of competitors who have lost legs or their use. Wheeling vehicles by arm for 26 miles means serious fitness and determination.

Those competitors were to me, this morning, a symbol of the Church too. For each is wounded. The larger family cheers them on. Each by grace has risen up to run the race. Ahead is the goal, the prize, the welcome home. We find the companionship of Jesus the Lord, there, and along the route too.