The past two weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions for me. Last week, a group from our church was in the Holy Land, walking where Jesus walked. While we were there, a terrorist attack occurred 20 miles from where we were staying. The aftermath of the attack in Tel Aviv jolted me. The following day Palestinians rejoiced in the streets over the fallen Jews. And the Jews the next day went on about their business, not allowing the terrorist attack to stop their activities.
I asked our Israeli Guide why the Jews went about their day like nothing had happened and she told me, “Pastor, what else are we to do? Are we to live in fear our whole life?”
The team and I were safe the whole time, however, it was a reminder of the fallen world that we live in. It was an amazing experience to be in Israel for 10 days but it felt good for our feet to touch American soil again. There was a security I felt when our plane touched down at JFK airport Friday morning.
It is so easy for us to think of senseless acts of terrorism as an “over-there” thing. However, for those of us who were alive on 9/11 we understand that evil can strike anywhere. When I awoke Sunday morning, only days removed from the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, I learned of another terrorist attack, which had happened earlier that morning – not in some far away country, but right here, in our own home. The purpose of these terrorists is to strike fear into the hearts of mankind.
However, I saw the response of the Israelis as a very powerful response in the wake of an act of terror. Do not be shaken. Do not be gripped with fear. The best response I can come up with in the face of these heinous crimes is to turn to the only real Answer we have, Jesus Christ.
Late Sunday, the Lord placed on my heart that Aloma Church was to lead out in an interdenominational prayer service, bringing our community and various Christian-faiths together for the purpose of turning to God.
So we invited many area pastors to join us and pray and seek the face of God, and we appreciate the contributions of Rev. Shawn Garvey, Rev. Mike Matzen, and Pastor Jeff Dixon. We had over a thousand people join us, either in our sanctuary or online, and I believe Heaven touched earth that night.
Something that rarely happens on this side of heaven was that men and women across the spectrum of Christianity, with myriads of theological beliefs, came together to call upon our God. We lifted up those immediately affected by the act of terrorism. We prayed for our community and our city. We asked the Lord to bring revival upon our land.
In the wake of terror, the Church has come together. Jesus said, “The gates of hell will not prevail against My church.”
May we look to the Lord in these dark days. May we look to Him and ask, “How can I reflect Your light and Your love, Oh God?” May we truly seek the Lord, asking that He would send revival. I am convinced that the only hope for Orlando, the only hope for America, the only hope for our world is a fresh movement of the Spirit of God through the churches that would then spread out into our communities.
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14
Blessed to be your Pastor,