As someone with an overactive interest in what used to be called ‘current affairs’, I admit to spending more time than necessary reading newspapers. One of my wife’s friends said I should not believe all I read in one such outlet; she has a point on many levels.
Whereas it seems important to know what is going on in our world, and we know at times journalists are able to hold people to account for their actions, there is really too much information to comprehend. As a result, we are at risk of being depressed by what we read or simply overwhelmed by the quantity as well as the content of the material. If we search around there are narratives that give us hope and encouragement in a world that often seems beset with manifold challenges. However, these seem to be few in number.
Of course there are terrible events happening: war, persecution, abuse and explotation, climate change to name just a few. Not for a moment do I want to gloss over things that daily mean death or heartbreak for some in our world.
At the same time we are also, it seems, in danger of thinking that only bad things occur and that there is nothing good happening anywhere. We have to find the beauty in our daily lives in our relationship and in nature, and be aware of the many wonderful things people do for one another each day. Those selflessly caring for loved ones or working for those in the health care system. For those who teach our children and young people to prepare them for their lives as adults. For those who take the time to greet strangers they pass in the street. Many acts of generosity and kindness happening day in, day out, and largely unnoticed by the world.
On Tuesday of this Holy Week, we know another news story will be very much in our faces, about a man who lives in the United States. We should set it aside, not be distracted, and remember what this Holy Week is really about. For this week we recall Jesus washing the feet of his friends as they prepared to celebrate Passover. We should remember how Jesus was arrested, tried and executed for helping the world to find a direction that brings life, light and hope. We remember the hope that one man’s death has given us and so many others as we seek for meaning and purpose in our lives. And we hope and pray as we commemorate and celebrate Good Friday and Easter Day, that we are called to live our lives in the service of one another to the glory of God and his son, Jesus Christ our Saviour.