“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4).”
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a stark reminder of the evil wrought upon millions of Jewish men, women and children by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Such a dark time in our history, one would not want to remember the atrocities that humankind can render on another. There are those who would say that it did not happen yet I had the humble privilege of visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau years afterward, walking through the gate that read “Arbeit macht frei” meaning “work sets you free”, seeing the death camps, the showers where women and children were escorted and poisoned, walked through the gas chambers, saw the hair shaved from the heads of the women and placed behind glass in a museum for onlookers to view and see, to remember, the luggage with their contents on display, id’s posted on boards with the names and pictures of people who would never leave that place. I saw the walls with the bullet holes where men were lined up and shot and killed and the quarters where they laid on hard slabs with no covering. We mustn’t forget.
As we take a moment to remember this day we are reminded of the many dark times we’ve faced both past and present. The everyday catastrophic events, natural disasters, crimes against each other, they’re inescapable. Yesterday’s tragic event (the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the seven others) is a reminder of the dark times in our life, the loss of people we did not know and yet we are deeply affected by it. It is apart of the human experience but in the face of all of this we have hope. Darkness cannot hide from the light and it is the Light of Christ that gives us hope in dark times, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).”