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March 2016

Days of Mourning

[Brussels, Belgium] It has been a week for killings. I don’t imagine that the Brussels killers made any connection to Holy Week as they unleashed their terror, but many Christians will not have missed the irony. This is a week of killings, a week of conspiracy, murder and fear, a week to mourn the violent death of our friend and brother, Jesus the Nazarene. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. He did nothing deserving of death. But none of that matters when dark forces come together to accomplish their hateful task. The innocent die: like a young woman seeing off her relatives at the airport, a university student going on holiday or a worker taking the Metro to the office. Innocence doesn’t count when the executioner is doing his job.

Last night, at Harty church, on the tip of Sheppey, with the wind howling, lit by candles, warmed by one another, we celebrated the light of Christ that, full of joy and hope, we carry into a world of fear and darkness. In the shadow of Brussels, with the memory of Srebeniza, hope can seem far far away. People here will feel hope has faded because of illness, bereavement, unemployment, money worries, family breakdown. When hope fails, fear draws close, and whispers sly deceits in our minds. On Easter Day hope decisively overcame fear and Christians are called to be witnesses to the hope that is found only in Jesus Christ.

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