Those are my church keys. One is the master key and it opens most of the doors here. One is just for the pantry. Sadly, we had to rekey it and carefully distribute the keys, as food and supplies kept going missing. (People never seem to steal our bibles…) One opens the server room and one the mechanical rooms. There is an Allen wrench to dog out the doors from the inside so they will open freely when they’re not locked. There is a key to the safe and a key to the cabinet for important papers. There is a security fob for online banking. There is my flashlight from the Sunday school at the Evangelical Church in Damascus, Syria, which always says to me that even when your light is small, you can still shine it out in love!
And then there is that daily reminder, the most important key of all…pray for the oppressed. It was a gift from a dear friend who opened the doors to me to the church in the Middle East. And if you didn’t already know it, they are suffering greatly these days, and they need our daily prayers.
This came in my email box this morning. It’s the story of another Christian village in northern Iraq – biblical Ninevah – where ISIS has forced the Christians and other minorities out in their zest to create a new Islamic Caliphate and spread their version of a dangerous ideology. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28686998
The town is Qaraqosh and it was one of the places Christians had fled to from Mosul, another ancient place in the history of my faith. The historical loss of artifacts is devastating. The loss of life is too much to bear. And so I pray for oppressed…and the oppressor. This prayer seems to put the words in my mouth and heart that I am just too grieved to come up with myself. Won’t you join me?
From the Book of Common Prayer:
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.