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#95 - Prayer request regarding church desecration

by Robert Nguyen Cramer

This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.

 

Question/insight #95:

Dear All,

One of the country parishes in my area has 6 churches - 3 of which are isolated - the only building in sight, but each is the centre of a small, scattered community. One of these churches has been horribly desecrated, and the people are shattered.

St. Thomas' Carwoola has monthly services - usually with a congregation of around 20 - which is probably about 20% of the population. Sometime in the last fortnight, it was broken into. A window was smashed to gain entry - everything of religious significance was taken - cross, frontal, communion vessels, the lectern Bible, candlesticks - even the candle "snuffer". The hymn numbers on the board were taken down & replaced with a message (signature?) - 666.

But even worse - they violated the adjoining graveyard...

They also removed the cross at the head of the grave and obliterated the inscription.

Because of its isolation, this could have happened any time since the last service - it was discovered by the faithful parishioner who keeps the lawns mowed. The priest feels violated himself - as do all the people of the area. Theft is bearable, but knowing that precious items - given for the glory of God will be used in satanic rituals is quite horrific. As for what happened to the grave.................. there are no words!

Somehow I have to care pastorally for all these people. On Tuesday evening we are having a service of "cleansing" - perhaps that will start the healing process.

Please pray for them all - and for me.

Shalom,

Ruth


Response #95:

Dear Ruth,

God bless the dear church, its present and deceased congregants, and the priest of whom you wrote. And God bless you, dear sister, Ruth. Whether or not we all respond to your email with an email, all of us on this Ordination of Women forum who have read your tragic description join you in prayer for you all, and for the perpetrators of the horrible acts.

In Christ we all are made new, each day, each moment. As Paul wrote,

In that new creation,

This is a solid basis for forgiveness of 'anyone against whom we have a grievance,' which as we all know is a prerequisite for prayer (Mar 11:25). In such forgiveness, we can celebrate that we and our dear church family, as Godís new creations, are not subject to any power other than God. Rather than being victims, "We have complete victory through him who loved us" (Rom 8:37, TEV), just as Christ Jesus had complete victory over the evil of his persecutors through the Father's unceasing love. Evil is powerless in the presence of the omnipotence of God, who is Love -- and in the presence of His childrenís living representation of Godís love.

G.B. Caird described this victorious love in his wonderful commentary on Saint Luke (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1963, page 103-105), where he wrote about the "Law of Love" taught by Jesus in Luk 6:27-38*:

With much gratitude for our mutual fellowship in Christ,

Bob Nguyen Cramer

 

Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer