After being so shocked and sickened by the brutal hacking to death of a young father in south London in broad daylight across the road from a primary school, we went to a church on Sunday a few miles from Woolwich.
The theme of the service was reconciliation. The message from 2 Corinthians 5 was on the ministry of reconciliation that has been entrusted to us as Ambassadors for Christ.
I was excited that the church, the real people of real faith were going to give a lead in reaching out to Muslims. As I no longer have any muslim neighbours to visit, I had tried to do my bit by going to a market the day after the murder and deliberately going to a muslim trader’s stall that everyone was avoiding and trying to engage him in conversation. It wasn’t easy; he felt threatened.
So I sat in church expectantly. Was I about to hear a call to prayer and agape action from God’s people like Martin Luther King, Jr. gave to segregated America in the 1960’s on the brink of a race blood bath when he preached:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
I was excited. The church responding with love, not reacting in anger or fear.. ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’, our banner.
I was wishing I was still a pastor.
Real people of real faith leading the way.
I waited as we got nearer verses 19 and 20,
‘And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors’
What a moment.
Let’s go for it church …Christ’s Ambassadors to muslims. What a challenge.
But you know what happened?
We sang a song, had a cup of coffee and went home!!!! I still can’t believe it!
Oh, may real people of real faith lead the way at this critical time. We can’t keep silent. We mustn’t miss the boat. As shocking as it sounds, God loves Muslims, and so must we.