Massacre in New Zealand

Our hearts and prayers go out to the more than 50 victims of the horrific massacre at the mosque in New Zealand. Once again we witness a senseless tragedy brought about through violence fueled by hatred and prejudice. Our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of innocent life and we share in the suffering and pain of loved ones left behind. We pray in a particular way that God’s mercy and kindness with touch the hearts of those who mourn and whose lives have been destroyed as well. We pray that they will find healing and peace. It is frightening to think that a house of worship where people gather to pray can be violated in such a callous and calculated manner by those filled with such hatred. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, as we do with people of every faith, ethnicity, and walk of life. We are all brothers and sisters, created by the same God in his image and likeness. There is no place in any human for prejudice, bigotry, malice, or hatred of any kind, for any person or for any reason. These are sins of the gravest kind and lead to even greater sins of violence and murder that are all too frequently occurring in our world today. As Christians, we condemn these actions. Jesus Christ has taught us to love our neighbor, to love even our enemies, to do unto others what we would hope they would do unto us. As we mourn the loss of innocent live, each of us must be committed every day to reject the hatred and bigotry, the vitriol and malice, that so easily can creep into our hearts. We must work every day to affirm the inherent dignity of each and every person and seek ways to build up in love the family of God.