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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Where Would Jesus Hang Out?

Over at Living Room, Darren wonders, Where Would Jesus Go?

'If Jesus was to show up in your town or suburb today to spend a week - where would he go, who would he hang out with and what would he do?' I asked a group of Christian youth and young adults during a workshop to work on the above question.

The list they generated was a fascinating one. It included

- in the homes of single moms
- at the local high school with the smokers
- at the horse racing track
- he’d do a shift on the kids help line
- in the pubs and clubs
- on the streets helping the drug addicts and homeless
- at the hospital healing people
- at the strip club/brothel
- talking to the dorks at school
- in the public housing estate with the refugees and unemployed
- he’d stand up against the casino
- at the gay bar
- he’d confront the prime minister about the way we treat refugees and indigenous people.
- he’d hang around with ‘ordinary’ people

There were a lot more responses but you get the picture.

This is a question I’ve sometimes wondered about myself. Here’s what I wrote nearly a year ago:

It is of course popular – fashionable even – to debate what Jesus would or would not do were He back on earth.

I live in an upmarket suburb. One day at a Bible study gathering a friend commented: “If Jesus were back on earth He certainly wouldn’t come to our church. He’d be over in the poor parts of town, mixing with the people in their churches there.” (In fact, at least one commentator has suggested that if Jesus were back on earth He would shun the church altogether and head straight for the nearest synagogue.)

But I think Jesus would visit our church. He might not be too impressed with the odd BMW among the Toyotas, Fords and Hondas. But surely He would rejoice to find a congregation of ordinary people struggling to maintain the faith in a deeply secular environment.

Of course, He would also be found at the poorer quarters. Jesus went wherever people needed reconciliation with God. That meant everywhere in His day, and I feel it would be the same today.

So here’s my own list of a few more places where Jesus might go on His visit to Melbourne:

- the stock exchange

- the local delicatessen

- the Melbourne Club (this city’s poshest, members-only businessmen’s club)

- Melbourne Park for the Australian Open tennis tournament

- Flemington Racecourse during the Melbourne Cup horse racing carnival

- the Royal Australian Air Force base at Laverton

- the boardroom of National Australia Bank (Australia’s largest bank)

In our secular culture, where money and power are the main aspirations, surely we ALL need Jesus and His message.

June 27th, 2003

 

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