I was sitting in front of my TV when the news showed the Coptic Christians being paraded, forced to kneel and then martyred. As my eyes clouded and I lifted a prayer for all our brothers and sisters across the world facing persecution Hagar came to mind, the second wife of Abraham. I remembered how she conceived a son and then Sarah, Abraham’s first wife became bitter and resentful.

You must be asking yourself why would that scripture come to mind? Well as Hagar ran into the wilderness scared, afraid and feeling alone she cried out. As a result of her terror and loneliness the angel of the Lord came to her and reassured her she would bear a son and to name the child Ishmael (“God hears”). Hagar responded by crying out to God “El-roi” the “God who sees.” Point? We are not alone God is with us.

Today we pause and bow our heads in prayer. Today we give thanks that You do not abandon us to hopelessness. You were with those men as they died. You are with all those around the world standing firm for Christ the Savior. The dark will always try to envelop the light but we read, “They conspire against the life of the just: and condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD has become my stronghold: and my God the rock of my trust. He will turn their wickedness back upon them and destroy them in their own malice..” Psalm 94:21-23

Dear God, watch over these your children and help us to not use cultural and religious differences as an excuse for injustice, an excuse to persecute. Keep us on the path of service, of forgiveness of walking in the light. Thank you for being the God that “sees” all things, and will one day make all things right, thank you for being the God who “hears” our cries while we wait. Amen.

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