This month, May, is Holocaust Remembrance Month. May 2 was specifically set aside as Holocaust Remembrance Day in the United States. It is a time when we remember one of the most frightening horrors of human history. The Jewish race faced the threat of eradication. As a nation, Israel remembers this day each year in their month of Nisan. They call it Yom HaShoah, that is, Day of the Catastrophe. According to Jewish news, on that day each year, around 10am, a siren sounds throughout the nation. Everything comes to a halt and there is silence across the land for two minutes. They remember their parents and grandparents whose lives were taken during the Holocaust in the late 1930’s into the 40’s. Businesses were destroyed. Communities were attacked. Their ethnicity was ridiculed.
Human history has been laden with many dark spots. Several of them are widely known. Several others have happened with little public awareness. As I reflected on the Holocaust this week, my mind went back to Paul’s letter to the Romans in which he wrote of the work of sin and death present in the world. Yet he writes also of the law of the Spirit at work bringing life. (Romans 5-8.)
Every week we gather as a worshipping community. Toward the end of that time as we prepare to re-enter our world, we do not leave in mere dismissal. We are sent. We disperse at the words: “Go forth into the world in the power of the Spirit.” We take the filling by which the resurrected Lord has filled us, and we re-enter into the barren places of our world. We offer life, one by one, corner by corner, opportunity by opportunity, moment by moment. Through His people, the Spirit pours forth life in places where death once reveled.
Please note that due to the intermittent nature of summer schedules, Pastoral Reflections will take a break at the end of May, to resume in September.