My heart breaks. Once again, scores of people have been murdered and injured – this time in Brussels. Yet again we are confronted by hate that knows no limits in its willingness to unleash terror and death. And we are left dealing with the despair, fear and hopelessness that ripples around the globe and through the hearts of individuals.
I am struck by the date of the attack: Tuesday of Holy Week. On the one hand, we see terrorists who seek to control the world through the use of violence, terror and hatred, often using their faith as the mobilizing call to action. On the other hand, we remember Jesus who was preparing for his death on the cross where his arms would be painfully stretched wide open to embrace the entire world in his sacrificial love.
Sadly, though, too many Christians feel unable to impact the world at the very moment it needs Jesus’ love more than ever. We are paralyzed by self-doubt resulting from declining participation in the church, a culture that views Christianity as increasingly irrelevant and our own questions about whether our faith can actually make a difference.
Today’s horror is yet another powerful reminder that our world – and every human being in it – desperately needs the love of Jesus Christ. This is not some sort of doctrinal statement. It is simple reality. And, quite frankly, it’s time we proclaim it with all the passion we can muster. Not in some sort of politicized manner – whether that’s of the right or the left. But with the reality of God’s love that has gone all in for us in Jesus Christ.
But here’s the thing. We can’t share what we don’t have. And this is exactly why we have spent so much time talking about spiritual revival. Each one of us needs to experience Jesus’ unconditional love that loves us more than we can imagine regardless of what we think, say or do; his transformational love so passionate that he is unwilling to leave us the way we are; and his invitational love that offers an intimate relationship that draws us into his heart.
Today we mourn. Today we pray. Today we deal with the reality of terrorism. But, perhaps most importantly, today we remember that after the cross comes the resurrection.
May we live with this hope that is the most powerful reality in all creation.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.