A Pastor's Reflection on the vandalism of his church.
This past Wednesday morning, 9th January 2019, saw Bundaberg waking up to a horrible sight. Our beautiful St John’s church building, God’s house, where God’s people gather to worship a GOOD God, had been defaced through graffiti in a BAD way.
The messages/images sprayed cannot be repeated – many of you would have seen them in person or on social media. I pray that many of you did not – they were blasphemous, diabolical and evilly motivated.
Of all the wording that was sprayed, the one sentence sticks with me – “Life is a prison!” Why that sticks with me is because it tells me that the person(s) behind this crime finds themselves in a place of hurt, of heartache and darkness. A place where they feel trapped. That’s sad. But what’s sadder is the fact that the person(s) was feeling this way even while standing on holy ground, ground consecrated to a loving Heavenly Father who sent Jesus to set him/her free.
As he/she was spraying these horrendous words and images on our place of worship, the heart of a GOOD God, a GOOD Father was breaking; breaking, not so much because His house was being defaced; but breaking because a son/daughter of the Human Race, one whom He loves, one who He created in His own image, one whom He sent His only Son to die for, to forgive and set free, didn’t know that freedom; didn’t know that love.
God’s heart breaks for that individual(s). Our hearts break too. Our prayer is that that individual(s) will be set free from the “prison” he/she finds themselves in.
As I said in one of the media interviews this week, to whoever the perpetrator was: “God still loves you. We still love you!”
Pray with me:
Father, thank you for being a good, good Father. Thank you for loving us despite our failures. We hurt you; we grieve you; yet you love us and constantly reach out to us. We pray for the perpetrator(s) of this terrible and senseless crime of vandalising your house. We pray that he/she will somehow come to know your amazing love and peace. Break the shackles imprisoning his/her heart and mind that he/she will come to know Jesus, whom to know is life eternal!
We thank you for the wonderful folk of our community – church, school and neighbours – who stepped up to show their support. Bless them. Thanks also for the members of our property committee and community who so ably stepped up and ensured your house was beautified again.
Continue to bless our wonderful community of Bundaberg and may your love continue to pervade every heart and home.