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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Remembering the March 11 great earthquake

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

On March 11 a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's coast, the so-called Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake. We offer our heartfelt prayers for those who lost loved ones, that God's mercy and peace may fill them. For those who survived and for those living in the disaster area, we pray for their health, that God may embrace them with comfort and that they can return to some normalcy in their lives.

This disaster was unprecedented in magnitude. We have seen images in the media every moment along the way. As we watch, we feel helpless in the face of the power of nature and recall the many paths we have trod in human history.

With this sudden disaster, we are left wondering what we, as humans, can do. We wince at our helplessness. But we face the words: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Behind these words is the understanding that while there is a limit to what is human, we proclaim there is no end with God.

There are those who have lost loving parents, children, siblings, relatives, friends; those who lost homes and endure cold nights; those who have little hope for the future, lamenting and crying out in despair. All the more reason to remember "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever," the one who brings us courage and strength and hope for tomorrow. And for each survivor, for all of us who are starting to engage in relief activities, the bells of God's salvation ring, just as they did for Pedro and Antonio in the story "Why the Chimes Ring" by Raymond M. Alden. Let us walk with courage and hope with God in this difficult road ahead. Surrounding us stand the Christians of the world, including Lutherans everywhere. Their prayers are with us as we give thanks to God, and walk forward in our efforts to bring relief to all those who have survived this disaster. 


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