Terror, terrorism, terrorist, strikes fear into many hearts. I attended a basketry weaving class the other day and very soon the events around the world were on everyone’s lips. Social Media is a-buzz with opinions of every type about how to deal with terrorism and terrorists. Imagery of terrified people trampling over each other and the flower tributes so lovingly laid down in memory of the murdered. The media has responded to what was thought to be gunshots. In every conversation, everybody has an opinion and so we should. We should be free to express our opinion even if it is different from our fellow men and women.
Terror is the terrorists’ weapon. When they have the people sick with fear they are in total control. They have the power to force people to obey them.
The terrorist does not allow freedom of thought let alone freedom of speech. Terror the type that the terrorist uses restricts the throat making speech impossible, numbs the mind leaving the person a helpless mass of jelly, ready to do what they are told.
Best Kept Secret
Who can we turn to in this time of chaos, trauma and fear? A dynamic relationship with the living Jesus Christ is the answer. I mean a relationship with Jesus not the church, the institution. We can go to church, know about Jesus, even believe in him but that doesn’t give us a relationship with the living Jesus which is what matters. Jesus the guy who rose from the dead and is alive today and who is the Son of God, he is the one we have the relationship with.
A Big Mouth
Jesus had a lot to say about fear and one statement was, ‘Don’t be afraid of those who can kill only your body – but can’t touch your soul.’
Jesus made another statement,
‘the courage of many shall falter because of the fearful fate they see coming on the earth.’ He added, ‘Look up, stand straight.’
Jesus urges us not to be affected by the terror and atrocities around us but to look up, straighten our shoulders and not be cowed by what we see. Jesus encouraged us by reminding us that our redemption draws close that is, Jesus who redeemed us is drawing close to us maybe even returning for us.
Some translations of the Bible have replaced, ‘stand straight’ with ‘rejoice’. We are told to look up and rejoice when we see the horrible things happening as we see today. Rejoicing at a time when so many are being murdered, as in France, seems inhuman. It doesn’t seem possible to rejoice when millions are starving. While our hearts bleed and we weep for those people we can still refuse to be personally terrorised. We can look up to Jesus and find strength of mind, spirit and heart. Many will give up their faith because of the terror filling the world, blaming God because he has not stepped in and appears to have failed; therefore he doesn’t care or is dead. Not so, God is alive and personal holding our life in his hand.
One of Jesus followers, Paul, said,
‘I am convinced that nothing can separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell (terrorists) can’t keep God’s love away.
There is another secret weapon against fear, made by Paul, the follower of Jesus,
‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind.’
Against the terrorist a fearless spirit, love and a sound mind and add to that eternal life, a terrorist cannot beat unless we deny our faith. Many people are denying their faith because their eyes and ears tell them the terrorist can win by killing their body.
Jesus does have the last say, his death on the cross and his reappearance to prove he overcame death has proven he is the master of both life and death. We should be voicing the words, ‘look up, stand straight and rejoice.
Modern Day reflection on Snow White
Terrorist, terrorist with gun and bomb
You are not the fairest of them all
Jesus has become Snow White
He cares for dwarfs, the human kind
By his act of death upon a cross
He brought evil to its knees
Jesus, fairest of them all.