November 10, 2010
... O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart. 2 Chronicles 6:14b
Story #1 - Not so long ago, in some kind of misplaced gesture, an American Christian pastor decided to burn a bunch of Korans. Much of the nation's Christian community rose up in protest. Indeed, some pastors were so incensed that the following Sunday they read from the Koran rather than the Bible -- (another gesture that was equally misplaced).
Story #2 - Not so long ago an al-Qaida-linked organization invaded Baghdad's Our Lady of Deliverance Catholic Church. The priest leading the mass was told to lie down. When he did as he was told, they shot him. Most of the 120 Christians who were taken hostage were either murdered or wounded.
Explanation: To the best of my ability I have tried to present those stories as fairly as I can and still stay faithful to the facts. Now I understand if you were to ask, "Why?" In truth, the inspiration did not come out of a desire to say, "Look how bad Islam is." Nor do I wish Christianity to rise up in some sort of retaliatory crusade.
The two stories were shared because in a conversation the other day I had a post-college aged mother say, "All religions are pretty much alike."
Those two stories show just how much the two faiths are not alike.
Whether you like the war or not, no matter what reason you think we're in Iraq, the truth is there are a lot of Christian boys (and those of other faiths, too) who have been putting their lives on the line trying to bring peace, hope, and democracy to an oppressed nation.
At least some of their motivation stems from believing in the Savior who entered this world to offer His life as a ransom for our freedom. Having been touched by the grace and compassion shown in the life of Jesus, they wish to help those who are unfortunate.
No, they're not being missionaries, but the spirit that sent many of them there is one that finds its roots in, and responds to, the Savior.
As the text says, there is no God like ours. Not in heaven or on earth is there a Lord who keeps His promises and shows steadfast love to His servants who walk before Him with all their heart.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your one-of-a-kind love, for Your unique sacrifice that has saved me, I give thanks. Now may all the world see the greatness of Your grace. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries