We often remember where we were when we heard shocking news.
For example, I was in the hallway when my grandfather, with tears in his eyes, told me that US President John F Kennedy had been assassinated. I was in Johannesburg airport when breaking news about the fatal car crash involving Princess Diana was announced. I was about to go out when a friend rang and told us to turn on the TV so we could follow the footage about the 9/11 attack on New York’s Twin Towers. Those are just a few of my memories. Perhaps you recall where you were when the same or similar events occurred.
Will the defenseless passenger jet being blown up over the Ukraine skies be one of those memories? For me, I think so. I was just about to go to bed on the 17th July when the headlines came on the late news. I couldn’t get to sleep. I sat outside in the garden in reflection and prayer.
Some may ask: where is Jesus when such tragedies happen? The answer, biblically speaking, is that Jesus is right there with the victims as they pass from this life to a better life to come. Death does not separate us from the love of Christ.
There is a beautiful passage in a letter Paul wrote to the early Roman Christians. It points to the hope we have in God. Paul refers to the senseless slaughter of innocent victims and to the fact that people die all day long. He then explains that nothing can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Nothing: “neither death nor life…neither the present nor the future…neither height nor depth” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV UK).
Christ’s love is always there. Even in death.
Because of that, there is hope both for the living and for the dead.
From Because Friday 18 June. Written by James Henderson.