The timing of Saturday’s terror attack in London coincides with the holy calendars of three world religions – Judiasm, Islam, and Christianity. For Muslims, the attack occurred during Ramadan, which runs this year from May 26 to June 24. For Jews and Christians, the attack happened on the eve of Pentecost.
Seven people were killed and 48 injured when a white van veered off the road and plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge. The vehicle continued in the nearby Borough Market where assailants exited the van and attacked people in the city center with large knives.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
During Pentecost, Jews celebrate when they received the 10 Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai. On the Jewish calendar, Pentecost occurs 50 days after Passover.
For Christians, Pentecost is important for at least 5 reasons.
- Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles (Acts 2).
- Pentecost is 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
- Pentecost is 50 days after Easter.
- Pentecost is considered the “birthday” of the Church.
- The original day of Pentecost was the official launch of the Gospel, when 3,000 people were baptized (Acts 2:41).
On Pentecost, the apostle Peter urged people to, “repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 NIV).
Religion News Service reported that Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby, preached at a Pentecost service in Kent, about 40 miles east of London. After the horrible attack, Welby warned, “that the U.K. could end up ‘hiding behind closed doors’ and urged Christians not to be afraid. He was referring to the disciples hiding behind closed doors at the time of Pentecost.”
“There is a risk of our nation becoming a people who flee danger and try and lock themselves away when our culture, our history and our calling is to be those who overcome danger and overcome those who cause danger,” Welby said.
His words remind us of the importance for Christians to not shrink back from fear, but rather, consider the words of Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 NIV: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirt comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Let’s follow the example of the disciples who did not give into their fear, but instead, “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6 NIV) proclaiming the salvation of Jesus Christ.
How will you be a witness for Christ today?
NOTE: Read my May 22 article entitled, How the Gospel Can Make You Fearless.