15 March 2019
We are in shock and grief over the events in Christchurch.
Acknowledging the need for Christian leaders to respond with love to our neighbours who have been affected by this tragedy, and to be able to lead their churches in lament and prayer, we have gathered a few simple resources, which we will add to over the coming days.
Our National Anthem is a profound prayer that all New Zealanders can own, and we encourage churches to consider using its words to help frame our public prayers. Download lyric slides here.
Immanuel Koks, who lectures on our "Theology of Suffering and Hope" course (921.6/715), has written a short reflection and poem of response:
God, they say you are in control,
what, control of the gun?
they say you foresee everything,
what, you foresaw the child watch his father get shot?
they say you give us freedom,
what, freedom to become monsters?
they say care for everyone,
what, care for the old refugee bent in prayer,
as he heard the bang, bang, bang,
as terror of his youth came flooding into his present?
God, I have to hold on to this,
your love will be victorious
your shalom and peace will flood this world
your Son will make all thing new.
So, amid my confusion. I will say just this.
I will try to turn my mind towards peace not anger,
I will try to set my heart towards love not hate,
I will try to place my arms in a posture of embrace
not erect a hard shell of protection.
Last November, Laidlaw hosted Canon Andrew White, the “Vicar of Baghdad” for an evening talk on “The Christian response to terrorism”. In what now seems like a prophetic call, Andrew urged Christian leaders to prepare for how we would respond to a terror attack against a place of worship. Watch the video here.
Parenting Place have posted this helpful article about talking with children about trauma.
“How is faith to endure, O God, when you allow all this scraping and tearing on us? You have allowed rivers of blood to flow, mountains of suffering to pile up, sobs to become humanity's song – all without lifting a finger that we could see. You have allowed bonds of love beyond number to be painfully snapped. If you have not abandoned us, explain yourself.
We strain to hear. But instead of hearing an answer we catch sight of God himself scraped and torn. Through our tears we see the tears of God.”
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son