This year’s theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is “the power of words”. Words have the power to bless and the power to curse; the power to forgive and the power to offend; the power to heal and the power to destroy. Words can be used for good and also for evil. It is worth remembering that the Lord Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt 12:34)
Ecclesiastes chapter 3 says there is “A time to be silent and a time to speak”. Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for both these things. In one way it is a time for us to be silent. A moment to remember the millions of Jews murdered by Nazi Germany. A time to pause and reflect on the lives that were destroyed through its evil. A time to contemplate the loss experienced by families today whose relatives were killed, and for those survivors that live with the memory of the horrors.
But it is also a time to speak. It is an opportunity to speak out against antisemitism that exists today. A time to recommit ourselves to never be silent in the face of evil. A time to raise our voice in support of the Jewish people in a world where hatred towards them still very much exists. And a time to determine to stand with Israel – the ancient homeland of the Jewish people
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, whose opposition to the Nazi regime led to his execution in 1945. Among his many well-known quotes is the following:
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Whilst there are appropriate times to hold our silence, it should never be when confronted with evil. Romans 12:9, states “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
Here are a few examples of what God hates, according to Proverbs 6:
“A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.”
The Holocaust bore witness to lies made against the Jewish people, a wicked plan and the shedding of innocent blood. Today we see the same traits by those that deny the Holocaust, demonise Israel and desire to wipe out the Jewish state.
Let us not be silent.
The following prayer points are to assist you as you pray. For the stories behind these prayer points, please view the CUFI Weekly News Round-up, by clicking here.
May God bless you as you pray.
• On this Holocaust Memorial Day we pray for the Jewish people and pray that we will be faithful and courageous to speak out against antisemitism today.
• Pray for CUFI’s new campaign which calls upon church denominations and affiliations in the UK to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism. Pray that the Archbishop of Canterbury and other leaders will respond positively. Pray that this will lead to a breakthrough in the church in this nation standing with the Jewish people.
• Praise the Lord for the many MPs that spoke out this week in Parliament calling for Hezbollah to be banned outright. However, pray for the Government and Labour leadership in light of their reluctance to support the ban. Pray that this week’s debate will prove to be a step further towards the ban.
• Pray for Israel’s continued protection and the safety of its residents, visitors and armed forces.
• Praise the Lord for the biblical and heart-felt speech made by Vice President Pence this week in Israel’s Knesset.
• Pray for the smooth relocation of the US embassy, which is planned to be completed next year.
And “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”