Recently, Syria has been
torn apart by civil war. Peaceful communities have been transformed into combat
zones and many have sought refuge in other countries.
But from all the chaos,
something unexpected has emerged…
High up on Cherubim mountain,
overlooking an ancient pilgrim road that once linked Jerusalem to
Constantinople, a massive 105-foot statue of Christ has risen into being. Assembled
over the span of three days, the statue stands on the edge of a Greek Orthodox
monastery and serves as a reminder of Christ’s continuing work in this world.
When I read this, I thought:
“Oh no! What if a bomb destroys Jesus? We should get him to safety!” And then I
stopped and shook my head, as I realized: this is exactly where Jesus belongs.
Let me explain…
From the very beginning of
his life, Jesus never played it safe. He was born into the middle of a chaotic
political background. And during his ministry, he was continually going against
the status quo so that he could join the outcasts and share life with them.
That’s just who Jesus is. He doesn’t hang back and let us deal with our
problems alone. Instead, he is always with us – in the midst of our classrooms,
out on our highways, here in our government – and even in our warzones. There’s
no place Christ won’t go for his beloved.
I know that this statue
won’t solve the problems in Syria, but my hope and prayer is that it will
remind those in conflict of Christ’s words to Peter in the Garden of
Gethsemane. I pray that it will inspire combatants on both sides of the war to
strive for peace.
Please join me in praying
for a peaceful end to the conflict in Syria.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking