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4.25.2006    |    Day of Remembrance
Today is the day on which the Holocaust is remembered. For those who are Jewish by birth, as I am, it is an important and very personal reminder that our very lives may be taken away by modern-day Amaleks. From the address given by Israel's President Moshe Katsav:
The horrifying events of the Holocaust, and the acts of mass murder were a part of everyday life. In a reality were Jews where being gassed and cremated, shot to death and starved, frozen to death and buried alive, many of them managed to rise above the basic human survival instinct, and did not lose their human spirit, despite the inherent dangers. They drew strength from their Jewish faith, from their Jewish history, from the voice of their conscience – these gave them the power to overcome the dangers and humiliation.
It is clear to me that the strength shown by my people during the Holocaust was a clear gift from God. Many might say, "what strength?" Jews went to their deaths, for the most part, without resistance. True enough. But strength is not always shown by physical force. During the Holocaust, strength, from God, was manifested in the form of character, in love of neighbor. Again from President Katsav:
many of them managed to rise above the basic human survival instinct, and did not lose their human spirit, despite the inherent dangers. They drew strength from their Jewish faith, from their Jewish history, from the voice of their conscience – these gave them the power to overcome the dangers and humiliation.
Unanswered is the great question: What was God's purpose in allowing 6 million of His chosen people to die? What eternal purpose could be served by this tragedy?

I don't know the answer; I can only guess. As a Reformed Christian by belief, I am reasonably certain that the Holocaust wasn't some sort of payback for the betrayal of Jesus Christ. God does not deal in worldly revenge, for starters. His judgments will be carried out at the end of time. More importantly, all of Jesus' disciples were Jews, as was Jesus Himself.

Further, Jesus died for all of us sinners. Romans. Jews. Greeks. All. As Paul reminds us in Romans 3:10, "None is righteous, no, not one."

_____
Deuteronomy 25:
17"Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. 19Therefore when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.