Dit weekend preekte ik 3x in St Michael's in Heliopolis over de noodzaak om ver weg te blijven van zonde en om ons leven voor God en diens gerechtigheid te leven. Ik noemde de Nederlandse journaliste Rena Netjes, die onlangs in Egypte 10 jaar cel kreeg vanwege het drinken van een kopje koffie. Hier een paar delen van mijn preek:
Yes, we mess around. Much.
We say unkind words to people. That is sin.
We do not help a person in need.
We do not care about hundreds of death sentences that are unjust. We keep our mouth shut and that is sin.
We do not help prisoners with a glass of cold water.
We always look at other women with lust. That is a sin.
We cash our good salaries and we do not help others with what we have.
We react to hard when our kids do not behave well.
We are jealous of others who have more.
We cheat with exams.
We look down on others. That is sin.
We do not speak to others of the Gospel.
We know what God wants from us and we did not do it.
We curse people in traffic.
We do not pray, we do not read our Bible. This is sin.
We have many idols that are more important than our God.
We are racists; we look down on people who are not like us.
We do not care whether Muslim Brotherhood people rot in prison.
We prefer to keep our mouth shut about the injustices of our new government.
We know God wants us to not skip our church meetings, but we do.
I like to underline, that this idea of sanctification, of becoming more holy, is not for women only. It does not make you just sweet and soft, and it is also not the same as just praying a lot and reading bible all the time.
Becoming more holy means to live more in accordance with the will of God - and surely, that includes prayer, and knowing the Word of God, and it includes helping old people cross the street, and also being nice to your neighbours.
But it also includes speaking against injustice. It also includes taking care of God’s world, of nature, of animals. It may mean that you have to stand up for the rights of people who are now in prison.
It included for many of us to speak out against the injustice of Meriam, a Sudanese mother in prison for her faith. But I will also speak out against the injustice that that was done this week to Rena Netjes, a Dutch Christian who worked in Egypt as a journalist. She was this week sentenced to 10 years in prison because she drank a cup of coffee with a few journalists of AlJazeera.