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Words and acts of love

two men praying together in church
Posted April 6, 2019

Hello Brother … ’
These were the first words the gunman heard when he arrived at the mosque, intent on killing as many people as possible.

‘Hello Brother … ’
These were the last words spoken by the first victim of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch on 15 March 2019.

‘I love him … ’
These were the words spoken by Farid Ahmed, a senior leader at the Deans Avenue mosque—widowed by the actions of a man so full of hatred.

‘I don’t hate him at all … ’
These were the words Farid Ahmed uttered as he reflected about what caused a man to be filled with such hatred towards him and his faith community.

‘Greetings Rabbi … ’
These were the words Judas said to Jesus as he betrayed him with a kiss.

‘Forgive them father … ’
These were the words Jesus uttered as he was dying, crucified on a cross.

‘You are my friends, I will keep watch while you pray … ’
These were the words Andrew Graystone wrote on a sign as he stood outside his local mosque.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength … ’
These were the words Jesus spoke as he was questioned about the Law.

‘Love your neighbour as yourself … ’
These were the words that Jesus continued with as the expert of the Law tested him.

‘Who is my neighbour … ?’
These are the words we must ask ourselves as we live in the Kingdom of God.

‘Love your neighbour as yourself …
These were the words Jesus used to illustrate the second greatest commandment.

‘The tongue can bring life or death … ’
These were the words that King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21.

In light of the terror attack in Christchurch, we are faced with daily choices …
Do we choose to greet strangers with a welcome?
Do we choose to love instead of hate?
Do we choose to forgive those who betray us?
Do we choose to stand with others?
Do we choose to speak words of life instead of death?

A mirror has been held up to our nation, requiring us to take an honest look at ourselves. Of course we only want to see the best, but how often do we only love the neighbour who looks like us, who believes like us, who speaks like us? How often do we casually laugh at words that are racist or sexist or judgemental at their core?

Our way of life has been disturbed … what our future looks like will be determined by the choices we now make, and the things we will tolerate.

Let’s speak through words and acts of love.

by Shar Davis (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 6 April 2019, p3- You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.