The news is full of terrible problems in the church and upon the church, and so we must come and worship our God. He is a strong tower, and this service of worship is not simply for our own individual spiritual development – it is far more than that. It is a battering ram against the walls of unbelief and the gates of Hades. Pick up your psalter, pick up your Bible, gather in the name of the Lord, and do battle with Him, calling upon King Jesus to rule from His throne.
We hear awful news about the Kurds in northern Iraq – again. This time, thousands of Christian Kurds are being displaced, running for their lives literally, against the militant Muslim group, ISIS, that demands that Christians convert to Islam, pay a fine, or be executed – and there are horrific tales of beheadings of our brothers and sisters in the name of Allah.
These Kurds are the ancient Assyrians – yes those Assyrians, who once were a great Empire. One of the cities taken is Qaraqosh and this is in the region that even today is called Nineveh – yes, that Nineveh. These Kurds are mostly Muslim, but there are many Christians and then others from a religion called Yezidi, a religion that is deemed to be so ancient – going back even before the days of Sennacherib – yes that Sennacherib.
World Magazine reports that Qaraqosh, a Christian village in the Nineveh region, is gone, and that, along with attacks on many other towns, more than 200,000 Christians are displaced, along with tens of thousands of Yezidis. Strangely, our president, announcing air strikes to protect our interests in the area, pointedly avoided mentioning the attacks on Christians, choosing instead to only mention the attacks were upon “religious minorities.”
There are many organizations that you can support to help provide aid to your brothers and sisters in Christ in this terrible situation – do so as the Lord leads you. But here, as we worship the God of all nations, the Lord of Iraq and the Kurds and the United States, we gather on behalf of our brothers and sisters who cannot gather this morning – we sing their psalms – we pray their prayers – we join with them and for them – to our God Who is Lord over all. And we cry to Him for mercy – more mercy. We pray to Him for the Gospel to have a greater impact in our lives, in the lives of the church around us – and over the world.