Dear Friends in Christ,
Dr. Davis Chappell
Today is a memorial day. I remember it well. I was in a staff meeting in Lawrenceville, Georgia when someone interrupted the meeting with news about the towers in New York City. We turned on the news and watched with disbelief. That evening we opened the church for prayer. Many instinctively responded by coming together to weep and to pray.
I remember. Its important to remember. Eli Wiesel, a Romanian-born Jew, author, professor and political activist, who survived Auschwitz, was once asked an intriguing question: "Is refusing to forget an obstacle for forgiveness?" He replied: "Once a year we Jews remember the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE. We remember and weep. But do you think I hate Babylonians? I do not. The second temple was destroyed in 70 CE. Do you think I hate Romans? I do not. I remember enough not to hate. They took the wrong path. They destroyed the temples we built. We should never destroy other people's temples, other people's places of prayer. We should never destroy other people's faith. We should remember that ours was threatened and we suffered. We were wounded. That in itself is an act of grace. The memory is an act of grace. The memory of suffering that should not increase suffering is an act of grace." I'm reminded of another Jew who said: "But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you" Luke 5:27-28. As we remember that day, the death, destruction and heroic acts of service and sacrifice, we are concerned about today. The news
from Syria is troubling, as is the discourse concerning our response. Please join me on this memorial day in intercession. Remember those who have suffered and are suffering. Remember our political and spiritual leaders and let them hear from you. Remember those who are serving in the military. Remember to pray for our enemies. And may our remembrance of suffering become an act of grace that makes for peace. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons and daughters of God" Matthew 5:9. Finally, it was good to welcome new members Krischan, Sarah and Jackson Krayer and Richard, Tammy and Jayden Fuqua, Piper Engle and Parker Kinard. Welcome to our church community. May the peace of Christ be with you! Davis