Monday, May 18, 2009

Listening to the News

It is a sleepy Monday morning on a holiday weekend. I made the coffee this morning wondering whether our second oldest member (101 years old) made it through the night after a rough couple of days.

In the quiet of our kitchen I listened to the news on the radio and heard that the fierce and ruthless leader of the Tamil Tigers had been killed and the resistance had been all but crushed by the Sri Lankan army. While the civil war was declared over by the government, we know that expatriates who have been clogging the streets of Toronto will continue to agonize over the fate of loved ones. For all I disagree with their method of protest, I will keep them in my prayers.

There was also a report on the fate of Christians in China. There are an estimated 50 million Christians in this nation of well over a billion, so their numbers are a "drop in the bucket" as a percentage of the population. While Christians have experienced greater freedom in the past decade, the government still expects individuals and congregations to register and when they don't bibles are confiscated and churches are dismantled. It's interesting, though, that the number of Christians continues to grow, as well as adherents to other religious traditions. In a land of growing affluence and materialism there is an underlying hunger for spiritual meaning.

Again, a reminder to pray for brothers and sisters in Christ in a nation so vastly different from our own. I am also reminded that apathy undermines the vitality of communities of faith in this country where freedom of expression is taken for granted while it can't be extinguished in places where there is overt or subtle oppression.

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