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Prenumerera på listan via RSS Se inlägg taggade faith

Two days ago, our city of Stockholm was struck by a terror attack killing four people and wounding others. Still fresh in our minds was the gas attack in Syria last Tuesday killing at least 50 people, including children.

Today, as we gathered for our Palm Sunday celebration, there was a bomb attack on two coptic churches in Egypt, killing at least 40 people. They too, were gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday.

How can we sing, dance, wave our palm branches and welcome our Messiah while our hearts are sad? In what way is Jesus really King when innocent people are slaughtered?

This is my encouragement for you today: We welcome our Messiah because He won against all the powers of darkness and destruction in our world and in our lives. Not by means of terror, power, violence, fear or intimidation. But with the ultimate sacrifice of his own blood. That is our reason for hope.

“The thief´s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” (John 10: 10-11)

...I hear you. The pain is real. The gut-wrenching anger at the loss of innocent lives. The continued presence of evil. Jesus himself wept for those that would not come to accept the kind of peace that He came to bring (Luke 19:41).

But the hope is real too. It allows us to see beyond terror, to believe in a good God and to see goodness in people around us. It allows us to be bold and fearless because we are part of a bigger narrative, one of which we already know the ending.

And as tens of thousands of Stockholmers gathered in a demonstration of love today, presenter Rickard Sjöberg found the perfect words to end the gathering when he quoted Martin Luther King: “Hate does not drive out hate, only love can do that.”

 

 

IMG 1552In the sea of flowers left behind in memory of the victims of the terror attack in Stockholm on 7 April, there is a note saying "goda grannar" (good neighbors) showing a church and a mosque in the skyline.

Träffar: 2042

Postad av den i Pastorsbloggen

It is the end of November and the days are getting shorter. This morning when the children woke up, we were still enveloped by darkness. They asked us with big eyes: “Is it morning time?” and I hesitated in my response. The clock showed that it was past 7 a.m. but my body wanted to turn over and have another snooze. I thought of the bear at Skansen that got to retire to their caves and sleep the winter away only to wake up by the end of March.

When we got to preschool, I noticed the sign that said: “Nu går vinterkräksjukan runt på våning 3”. Great, the annual stomach flu is going around. I am already frantic about washing hands all day long. Yesterday, I stocked up on mandarins, kale and pomegranate. But there is only so much one can do.

Picking up a package, I scanned the headlines of today´s newspapers. Shortage of freshwater classified as the greatest global threat by the World Economic Forum. Sex trade more common than believed in the north of Sweden - cases involving refugee children reported. CIA director warns Trump about scrapping the Iran-deal and increasing the chance of new war in the region. I am tempted to buy a copy, but I don´t. Not today.

I decide to go for a brisk walk. As I come to the top of the hill, I step into the frail sunbeams that managed to climb over the apartment buildings around me. For a moment, I stand still and do a “Swede”. I turn my face into the sunlight and enjoy the brightness and warmth of the moment. As I walk on, I think about perspective. There are so many troublesome things in this world to mourn over, to worry about and to work on. But then there are so many beautiful things to be noticed, to be thankful for, to celebrate.

 

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Is there room in our minds and in our hearts for the good, the beautiful? And do we disrespect the issues we face in this world when we choose to spend time seeing and enjoying beauty? Perhaps those moments when we seek to soak in beauty are necessary for us to gain a new perspective. To understand that there is hope, that there is a creative force at work, both in the heavenly realms and through our very own hands.

Perhaps those moments can flow over, into the situations where we do need to see and respond to that which is not well in our world. Perhaps this is when we operate from our core, our soul which is longing and working toward a new heaven and a new earth.

Taggad i: create faith light
Träffar: 2123

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