Before the Ending of the Day

These are a series of short reflections and prayers to be used preferably during the Sunday evenings of Lent 2017. This week I attended the Ash Wednesday service at the village’s parish church. It was a moving and powerful start to Lent for me. It prepared me for the journey of repentance Christians are invited to take as Easter Day approaches.

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The mistake they made was to pray to Jesus

Kenya University AttackAl-Shabab militants deliberately found and killed Christian students at the Garissa University in Kenya it has been reported this week.

I wondered how they knew who were Christians. Student Reuben Mwavita described what he saw. Three female students knelt in prayer before the gunmen and Reuben commented: The mistake they made was to say ‘Jesus please save us’, because that is when they were shot.

I find this overwhelming. I am humbled and appalled. I know little about African Christianity but people whom I have met from that part of the world have impressed me with the intensity and directness of their faith in God. Prayer is not a few grunts at the beginning of the day. It is woven into the material of daily life.

Devotion to Christ has exacted a terrible price. Their voice is now silenced but they still speak. They speak into the prayers of people all over the world who mark Easter Day as a signal event for their faith. In the words of an unknown author:

Resurrection is the touch of God’s hand on my scars and the invitation to breath again.

Like their Lord they did not raise their voice against their slaughterers.

May they rest in peace to rise in the new earth and new heaven; and may those of us who are left who pray in the same name never take the gift of faith for granted.

 Photo: Khalil Senosi/AP