[this article was contributed by Alex Rover]
The French satirical magazine ‘Weekly Charlie’ has once more been the target of terror attacks. In a display of solidarity and unity for worldwide peace and security, world leaders have today gathered in Paris, shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of thousands more.
When I witness this, I see the yearning of creation for peace. I see evidence of God’s love, because in his image we are born and regardless of color, race, and religious affiliation we all are Charlie, one human race with one God-given morality and conscience. More and more the world is coming together in unity, calling for peace and harmony without prejudice toward others. What we witness today echoes the words in Scripture:
“While people are saying, ‘Peace and Security’” – 1 Th 5:3
It is in the day of the return of our Lord that people would increasingly become desperate for a world of peace. World leaders are not uniting because they believe they have the answers, but because of solidarity and agreement that something needs to change.
We are not in darkness
We are not in darkness regarding these events (1 Th 5:4), that the day of the Lord will surprise us like a thief. Let us prove ourselves ready as ever, and use these events as opportunity to build up and encourage.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” – 1 Thess 5:11
We are all Jesus
The slogan #IAmCharlie or in French #JeSuisCharlie has become the most popular hashtag in the history of Twitter. In fact people are saying: “you have not just persecuted Charlie, you have persecuted me”. Tragedies tend to rally people together. Remember the tragedy of the terror attacks on New York and how it brought a nation together in solidarity? We have seen such tragedies happen in our lifetime, and we have also seen such solidarity disappearing over subsequent years.
How much more tragedy does mankind need to suffer so that we can continue to display unity as we saw in Paris today or after the 9-11 events? Our Holy Scriptures give us comfort that this pain will one day end.
“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Re 21:4
This order of things will not continue, and as Christians we are bearing the reproach of Christ.
“Let us, then, go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing the reproach He bore, for we do not have here a city that continues, but we are earnestly seeking the one to come.” – He 13:13-14
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” – 2 Ti 3:12 NIV
Today we are in solidarity with those who suffered human tragedy, but every day of our lives we are representatives of Christ, ambassadors for him in this world (See 2 Co 5:20). Christians are the visible manifestation of the love of Christ, hence the title of this article: we are Jesus (Compare John 14:9). In this world, we love as he loved. We suffer as he suffered.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” – Mt 5:44 NIV
Our solidarity with Christ and manifested love for others gives hope to mankind that one day this suffering will end, when the earth will enjoy true peace and security under the kingdom rule to the glory of our God and Father.
Cover Image by LFV ² via Flickr.