Take a Stand …
Two weeks ago, I read a story about a Christian woman from Germany, who lived during the time of the Holocaust. Every Sunday, she went to church and every Sunday, a train would pass by the church. This train was full of passengers; however, these were not regular passengers… they were Jewish people, crammed into the train by the hundreds, on their way to the Nazi Concentration Camps. Every Sunday, when that train passed by the church, the people inside the church would hear the screaming from the train, the screams of the Jewish people, many of whom were on their final journey. The screaming was so loud that it disturbed the singing in the church, so those in the church would sing louder and louder to drown it out.
Last Sunday, the Jewish people in Israel and around the world recognized Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura (“Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day”). This is the day that we honor the memory of the approximately six million Jewish people who were murdered in Nazi Germany, between 1933 to 1945.
This day marks one of the most tragic events in the history of the Jewish People. We live in a day and age where there are people like the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who deny the existence of the Holocaust or say that it did not happen as people report. Others criticize the Jewish people for continuing to commemorate this as a “poor me statement”.
But why do we continue to commemorate such a tragedy? In a recent visit to Yad Vashem (The Israeli Holocaust Museum), I heard an emotional and powerful story of a man named Asher who survived the Holocaust. At the end of his story, I asked him what he would like the group that I was leading to take home with them. He replied, “Don’t forget”.
This coming Sunday evening, everything in Israel will stop as we remember those men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, young and old who were killed during the Israeli wars or as a result of terror attacks. It is a somber day, when we remember and honor their lives and their memories.
The fact is that the threat of terror and war in Israel is very much a reality. The situation amongst Israel’s neighboring countries is unknown and the threats from such places continue to grow. The world continues to criticize Israel regardless of what the truth is and what the facts are.
The reality is that we will see another war coming to Israel’s borders; whether it will be in a few days or a few years, it will come and, as in the past, the world will judge, condemn, and turn against Israel.
The question I want to raise before you, my brothers and sisters in the faith is: When the next wave of persecution against the Jewish people comes, are you going to ‘sing louder’ in order to avoid the cry? Or will you take a stand for the truth, for righteousness, and most importantly, for God?
Your answer will be in the stand that you choose to take today. May God strengthen and prepare us all for whatever lies ahead.
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