A new perspective.
Author: David Kingston
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
- Hebrews 10:24.
Good Friday asks so many questions of us. What would we do if we were in the same situation – as Jesus? As Peter? As Judas? As an ordinary Jew? As Pilate? As a Roman soldier?
This is heightened by the awfulness of crucifixion – the image of which is the abiding image for all of Christianity. The image of a man prepared to die in the most horrible and demeaning way.
At the time, it must have seemed a purposeless death to the onlookers. Jesus clearly knew what he was doing and must have realised the long-term effect of dying in a way which turned the world upside down – because it caused us to see everything from a totally different perspective.
Jesus’ death on the cross is the sign for so many things. The essential sign, or new perspective, is that we have to see the world from the point of view of the oppressed; from the ruled rather than the ruler. There should be no end to our commitment to make the world a better and fairer place, especially for those who are downtrodden.
This commitment does not involve the exercise of earthly powers, expressed in things like winning wars. It comes from being prepared to see the world anew, to speak truth to power in bringing the kind of just world which Jesus envisaged in the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus loved this earth; He valued it and all its people equally. Our work in Christian Aid is driven by this love and these values.
May God bless me with discomfort –
At easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
So that I may live from deep within my heart.
May God bless me with anger –
At injustice, oppression and the exploitation of people,
So that I may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless me with tears to shed –
For those who suffer from rejection, starvation and war,
So that I may reach out to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.
May God bless me with enough foolishness
To believe that I can make a difference in this world
So that I can do what others claim cannot be done.
David Kingston is a member of the Religious Society of Friends. He is currently the chair of the Finance Committee of Christian Aid Ireland.
Published on 19 April 2019