My heart ached when I saw the news last weekend about the 21 Egyptian Christians who were persecuted and murdered for their faith on a beach in Libya – for being ‘People of the Cross’.
We are all part of the body of Christ, and when one member of the body of Christ suffers, we all suffer. Such shock, sadness and grief.
Though the news moved on quickly – in fact within just 2 days I could not even find a trace of the story on the BBC News website anywhere – these men of God are not forgotten. God knows them all by name and they are precious to Him. We should pray for their families, and their persecutors.
I created this journal page as my own response to this news. It is an attempt to try to honour their lives in some small way, and ensure that I remember them, their bravery, courage and sacrifice. And a prompt to continue to pray daily for all my Christian brothers and sisters throughout the world who are facing intense persecution every single day – and need our prayers.
For this page I carefully chose this particular magazine image of a beach, for the following reasons:
- The beach seemed similar to the one in the pictures from Libya.
- The sunset seemed to me, to reflect the end of their precious lives.
- The sky, sea and sand are coloured orange, reflecting the sun. They each wore orange, and their lives so truly reflected Jesus, the Son of God.
- If you look closely you can see one set of footprints on the sand, which reminded me of the ‘Footprints in the Sand’ poem. They were not alone. I believe the Lord carried each one of them home.
I used the picture of the beach to create a pocket (by glueing it down on three sides only) and in the pocket I tucked a small envelope. On the envelope is written:
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
Colossians 3 v 3
They were People of the Cross, and they carried their crosses to the end.
Inside the envelope are the names of each of the 21 Egyptian Christians who lost their lives last week at the hands of militants who targeted them for their faith.
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.”
To read the full ‘Footprints in the sand’ poem, see: http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com
To read an excellent reflection on this, you may want to read the following response from Jennifer Dukes Lee, entitled, “Who are we, if not the People of the Cross”.
And support Christian organisations who work so hard to support the persecuted church, such as: