On Humanity and Offending

As I write this, Parliament is in lockdown due to an attack of some sort (assumed terrorist at the moment, until known for certain).  This is not about that incident.

I tweeted this:

Which, as you can imagine, elicited something of a response.  The question was asked why I would suggest to pray for the perpetrators as well as the victims.

The perpetrators of any offence, terrorist or otherwise, are human beings.  As a Christian, I believe that all human beings are made in the image of God.  I also believe that that image is marred in all humans, that we are all in need of grace and mercy from Almighty God.  I believe that that has been achieved through the cross of Christ and his resurrection.

I believe that when Paul tells his readers in Rome that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23), he means it.  I believe that compared to the way humanity is meant to be, none of us measure up.  I believe that Jesus was and is the only truly human being, fully reflecting and displaying the image of God in the world.

And so, I know that I, a sinner, must pray for other sinners. I must hold my brothers and sisters before our Father in heaven.  I must pray for people’s hearts to be turned towards Christ and that their minds might be renewed.  I must pray for transformation in all people.

Jesus died for them just as he did for me and, as Fanny Crosby wrote, “the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”