A Time to Stand Up and Be Heard

“A brutal massacre at a Quebec City mosque has left Canada in shock but also unified the country in solidarity with Muslims,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the funeral service for three of the six victims this past Thursday. “It is with heavy hearts that we come together this afternoon to grieve the loss of these innocent lives,” he told the solemn crowd. “As a community and as a country, together we will rise from this darkness stronger and more unified than ever before – that is who we are.”

Adrienne Clarkson, the 26th Governor-General of Canada (1999-2005), wrote in the Globe and Mail newspaper, “How does one explain to ourselves or to the world that people were killed, shot in the back while they were praying to the one God who created us all. Are any explanations possible? This horror that has happened in Quebec City does not reflect what we as Canadians believe. It makes us feel terrible. It makes us feel unworthy that this should have happened on our soil. How could this have happened?”

This morning during worship service at St Agatha Mennonite Church, Pastor Len Rempel spoke about this tragedy and reminded us that it is “time to stand up and be heard!” He quoted from Jesus’ words, “Let your Light shine. We do good not for our own benefit but to give glory to God.” (Matthew 5:16) He expressed that when tragedy happens it may seem that God is silent. However, God is still in control. This is the message he shared with an Imman he knows, on behalf of our congregation.

This week our political and spiritual leaders reminded us of our heritage. Canada has always been a country where we were able to adjust, where we let people be. We must let people wear what they want to wear. We must always be the kind of country that understands that other people have brought different stories and different narratives to this country. We must respect their stories, as we ask them to respect ours. We must remember we are one family, everyone created in God’s image. We have one God and we are called to love and respect one another.

It is time for all of us to Stand Up and follow the examples and words of Jesus.”Do unto others as you would have them do to you” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

~ Wilmer Martin