The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalms 121:7-8
Can you think back to the worship service you attended on Resurrection Sunday?
Was the music special? Were the children excited? Did you greet each other with the age-old salutation of Christians: "Christ is risen"? Did you respond: "He is risen, indeed"? What was it like? Did you leave feeling inspired by the good news that death is not the end of the line for God's people?
No matter what your worship service was like that day, I'm sure it was different from the one which took place at All Nations Christian Assembly Church in Kaduna, Ethiopia.
While the people were worshipping inside, outside an individual was trying to bring his car, filled with explosives, through the front gate.
Security stopped him.
Frustrated, the man threw the switch, blew up himself, his car, and 38 passersby.
The pastor of the congregation said, "We were in the Holy Communion service and I was exhorting my people and all of a sudden we heard a loud noise that shattered all our windows and doors, destroyed our fans, and some of our equipment in the church."
Another individual said, "God saw our heart and saved us."
For that congregation Psalm 121 has a new meaning. In an obvious and powerful way, the Lord had kept them from evil. He had kept their lives. He had kept them when they went to church and when they came from church.
Thankfully, most of our congregations don't have suicide bombers trying to gain entrance to our worship.
Now some people might say, "God didn't keep my church from evil -- certainly not the way He kept that church in Ethiopia." If that is your position, please do not be offended, if I respectfully disagree.
I believe the Lord was watching over and protecting both places. That's right. He watched over the church with the bomber and the church without one.
This is why I believe that we -- like the Jews remembering Passover -- should give thanks for the many times death and disease have passed over us, when problems haven't arisen and terrible troubles were never experienced.
Either way, for the Savior's protection, for our salvation, and for a Lord who preserves us from all evil, we should give thanks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, far too many times Your people take for granted the ongoing care You so faithfully and continually bestow upon us. Open our eyes so we may see Your care and handiwork in our lives. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries