On Sunday, 17 March 2019, less that 48 hours after the horrific attack in two Christchurch Mosques resulting in the massacre of 50 people created in the image of God, I preached this sermon as part of this service.
Today, 22 March 2019 when marking one week since this evil attack, New Zealand’s media outlets (online, TV, radio) will broadcast the Islamic “Call to Prayer” (adhan) at 1:30pm.
An English translation of this prayer is as follows:
“God is the greatest (4x)
I acknowledge there is no deity but god (2x)
I acknowledge that Muhammad is the messenger of god (2x)
Hasten to the prayer (2x)
Hasten to the salvation (2x)
God is the greatest (2x)
There is no deity but god (1X)”
I offer the following as a suggested “Christian Call to Prayer” at this time of sober reflection and meditation:
“Dear God, you are the one true and living God – Father, Son and Spirit. You alone are God and you alone give mercy and grace. We praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – who died and rose again so all those who turn from their sins and trust in Him can find forgiveness and eternal hope.
We pray that those who do not yet know you, as you have faithfully revealed yourself to us in your word – the Bible – may come to know you by faith and in knowing you will know comfort and peace that transcends the evil of this world.
Dear loving, compassionate Heavenly Father, we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The very fact that in less than 30 minutes, New Zealand will broadcast the Islamic Adhan is as unprecedented as the wicked attacks that took place here just one week ago. This is a crucial and important time for New Zealand and for New Zealand Christians to stand together with all those created in God’s image against evil and wickedness.
Yet, it is also important for Christians to lovingly and carefully hold fast to the truth claims of the Bible and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. We do this because we love Jesus more than anything in this world and we love others more than we love ourselves, so out of love we honour Christ and desire all people to know Him and love Him.