When There Is No Peace

While we feasted together and counted our blessings on Thanksgiving day, even as my wife’s family hails from India, we were unaware of the tragedy that was happening.

Although more were killed in the 1993 serial bombings that hit India, the terror attack last week is being touted as “India’s 9/11.”

The style and magnitude of the attack is unprecedented, many say. Mumbai has earlier endured bombings on commuter trains and public places, but this is perhaps the first time that gun-wielding men have stormed streets and posh hotels, indiscriminately opening fire on innocent civilians.

And they are not quite certain who these militants are. Or why even they would attack (because of Mumbai’s commerce)?

M. Thomas Thangaraj, professor emeritus from Emory’s Candler School of Theology, now residing in South India writes:

Our government is doing its best given the lack of both resources and sophistication.
Things are now under full control. Some of the commentators in our TV have noted that it
is time for political leaders in India to give up any use of religious rivalry to their
own electoral advantage. Religiously divisive politics is not what we need in India. We
have lived in peace with our neighbors of differing faiths for centuries, and may that
tradition continue even in our contemporary politics. It is important to appeal to and
maintain the secular character of our nation’s constitution and uphold the values of
justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. We hope and pray that this incident does not
lead to further clashes between India and Pakistan.

We need your prayers and support.

Jeremiah 6:13,14

13 “From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.

14 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.

I know India is not Israel. So maybe to start with this passage from a Hebrew prophet is terribly out of context. But I feel that particularly during these holidays, it is very easy for us to be navel-gazers, especially since this is the season of Advent, the coming of Christ, which is only meaningful to Christians. I pray that we would be compelled to not sing of joy and peace when there is no peace. That we would not dress the wounds of others as thought they were not serious. May prophet and priest alike practice compassion and may we give gifts not of exchange, but of no recompense at all.

I pray for you India tonight. Kyrie Eleison.

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