My brother’s keeper

Once again, the world is stunned by the horrific events that unfolded in Christchurch, New Zealand, last week; and once again I’m reminded of the wise words spoken by a Muslim shopkeeper who welcomed me to his store in Pakistan a few years ago, ‘We were all created by the same God. The most important thing is that we love each other.’

In a well-known story from the Bible Cain becomes jealous of his brother Abel and kills him. When God challenges him about the murder, Cain responds by saying, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ It is a devastating response because it shows that Cain no longer reflects the image of God in which he was made. His heart has grown selfish and hardened towards God and his brother. The answer should be a resounding ‘Yes, I am my brother’s keeper’ because I’m reflecting the character of a God whose very essence is love.

It’s the love that we see in the life of Jesus reflected in his saying that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends. Evil and hatred will always seek to take and destroy and sometimes appear to succeed, but in the end, they will always be overcome by love and compassion.

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