Writing this devotion during the season of Lent, I sense a link with the somber mood of All Saints Sunday. This seems especially true because a few days before, 50 worshippers were gunned down while attending prayer services at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Worldwide, people responded to this tragedy by holding vigils and reaching out to Muslim neighbours. My Toronto congregation, part of a multi-faith refugee sponsorship group known informally as Three Churches and a Mosque, did likewise. Together with our interfaith co-sponsors and other community members, we gathered at the mosque of our Muslim partners for a vigil.
At the vigil, we hugged friends, listened to politicians speak, shared food together, and heard healing words spoken by leaders of various faith communities. As the last one to speak, the imam of the mosque chose Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain (today’s reading) as the text for his sermon. He ended the vigil by praying for the Christchurch victims, the killer and his family, and called on all of us to remember that regardless of race or creed, we are all children of God.
Thank you, Lord, for this glimpse of the coming kingdom. Amen. — CKA