Remember Christchurch and Sri Lanka
Our hearts go out to the Muslim communities in Christchurch, especially those families grieving for the loss of loved ones at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on friday 15th March, 2019.
At 1.40pm a lone gunman entered the Al Noor Mosque and commenced an unspeakable act of Satanic evil, the result of which was the loss of 42 lives before continuing to Linwood Mosque where another 7 were killed. One more died later in hospital. A further 48 innocent people were injured, some seriously. Innocent people involved in prayer were callously gunned down in a terrorist act of hate..
Our hearts also go out equally to the families and friends of over 250 people killed in more acts of mass hatred in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21 April. Most victims were christians celebrating the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead at easter services.
Christians, Muslims, and Jews all believe there is a God, and also believe Satan is real. All good comes from God, all evil from satan. We human beings have the capacity and responsibility to choose the good and reject evil. All believe that every person is of equal value to God and should be to us. All believe that we all must stand before God and be judged in the next life.
Some verses from the bible that teach us how to act to everyone irrespective of race, religion, wealth or celebrity
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. (Jesus Christ) Matthew 7 v 12
Love your neighbour as you love yourself. (Jesus Christ) Mark 12 v 30
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. (Jesus Christ). Matthew 5 v 9
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. (Jesus Christ). Matthew 5 v 6
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12 v 17 - 18.
Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4 v 15
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,. and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13 v 4-7
Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13 v 13
Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4 v 29.
God has made of one man all nations of the earth. Acts 17 v 26
You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Exodus 23 v 21
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Hebrews 12 v 14
You must not murder (The 6th commandment given to Moses around 3,700 years ago). Exodus 20 v 15
Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good. Romans 12 v 21
Let your speech always be gracious. Colossians 4 v 6
At the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago the message of the angels to the shepherds in the fields at Bethlehem was "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased". How do we please God? "If you love me keep my commandments" said Jesus. When asked later in his life what is the greatest commandment his reply was
"The most important commandment is this, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important. Love your neighbour as yourself". Mark 12 v 28-30.
We have a responsibility to God and a responsibility to each other. We each, individually have the responsibility to decide whether there is a God or not and, if so, who he is, why did he create the world, and what does he want from us. Our responsibility to our fellow humans is to ensure that each person has the freedom to decide for themselves, and to practice their worship in peace and freedom.
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Jesus also said "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3 v 16-17.
God created everything through Jesus, and nothing was created except through him. He gave life to everything that was created , and his life brought light to everyone, The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. John 1 v 3 – 5
New Zealand National Anthem.
God of Nations at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat, God defend our free land,
Guard Pacific's triple star, From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar, God defend New Zealand
Men of every creed and race, Gather here before thy face,
Asking thee to bless this place, God defend our free land,
From dissension, envy, hate, And corruption guard our state
Make our country good and great, God defend New Zealand
Peace not war shall be our boast, But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host, God defend our free land,
Lord of battles in thy might, Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right, God defend New Zealand
Let our love for Thee increase, May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace, God defend our free land,
From dishonour and from shame, Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame, God defend New Zealand.
May our mountains ever be, Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto thee, God defend our free land,
Guide her in the nations van, Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out thy glorious plan, God defend New Zealand.