Built on the Rock

On Easter Sunday we learned of three churches that had been bombed in Sri Lanka, and three luxury hotels, killing 259 people and injuring 500 more. The attacks were coordinated, in the cities of Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo. Negombo is a city of 150,000 people and it makes me wonder how many other Christian churches there are in that town. Batticaloa is a city of 100,000 people, and Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka, with a population the size of 750,000. The bombings have shaken the entire Sri Lanka Christian community, as well as Sri Lanka nationals living in Canada and other places around the world. In the beginning of that week, so many people watched fire burning the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The Notre Dame Cathedral’s construction began in 1160 and was roughly completed a hundred years later, in 1260. During the French Revolution in the 1790’s the Notre Dame Cathedral suffered desecration. Much of the religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. It underwent major renovations once again between 1844 and 1864, after the writing of Victor Hugo’s work “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Many people watched the cathedral burn in silence, realizing the historical significance of this church. The editor of Reformed Worship Joyce Borger wrote a blog on a hymn that came to mind, one whose words I was not familiar with, but I recognized the tune. The Hymn is called: Built on the Rock the Church shall stand. And the verse goes like this; Built on the Rock, the Church shall stand even when steeples are falling; Christ builds his church in every land; Bells still are chiming and calling, calling the young and old to rest, calling the souls of those distressed, longing for life everlasting.” The history of the Notre Dame Cathedral reminded me again how generation after generation, the body of Christ has striven and struggled and survived. And the terror and bombings and senseless suicide attacks on Christian churches and communities in cities and towns I never knew existed, reminded me how large, penetrating and impacting the body of Christ actually is. And to think, we are all built on that same Rock.                                                                                                                                                   Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra