Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hope in the Darkness

I woke up this morning to hear that the death toll in Mumbai had risen to over one hundred and probably that many more people were being held hostage. Apparently five Canadians are among the hostages. I looked at the photograph on the front page of my newspaper to see pools of blood in the main train station of the city.
At times like this my anger rises and "turn the other cheek" is farthest from my mind. Yet I hate it when religion is used to justify division and violence. In this case it is Muslim extremists but it seems that the majority of religions are tarnished by cruelty perpetrated in God's name. These perversions are really false gods, the idols of darkness and destruction. No amount of crowing that these violence acts are committed in the name of the one true god makes it so.

The readings for this Sunday issue from the mouths of Isaiah and Jesus, two prophetic voices who acknowledge that dark times are real, but the God of love and justice prevails. We can only continue to pray that humanity will come to its senses.

What did you feel, what were your reactions to these latest acts of terrorism? This first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of hope. Are you still confident that God's hope and Christ's hope will prevail?


shirport said...

It is very hard to hang on to one's hope in the face of such senseless violence and religious extremism. Hard not be overwhelmed by all the bad news and not to sink into apathy and despair.
Our choir has an anthem called "Be Not Afraid", based on Isaiah 43:1-4.The words are: "Be not afraid: for I have redeemed you;Be not afraid: I have called you by name. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you pass through the floods, they will not sweep o'er you; when you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed; you are mine, you are precious in my sight."
A strong promise to hang on to.

Laura said...

I felt sick for those facing the worries of waiting and wondering whether their loved ones are safe. And then somewhat ashamed for turning the news off more frequently of late as it is full of such doom and gloom around the local economy. Truly seeing the senseless violence that much of the world lives in fear of, I know our worries to be small. Repeated history of violence in the name of religion clouds my hope that the world can ever exist in the peace of which we dream, as people of faith. Yet we are not to give up....As one pastor relayed that it is the reason we must keep reading the papers and listening to the news, for it tells us what to pray for....

David Mundy said...

Thanks for these responses. They bring home the challenge of meaningful and compassionate faith when God is so often equated with hatred and bloodshed. I do think the immediate media response to every hardship and tragedy accentuates this. There are times when a media sabbath is not a bad idea.

Musicians have a song for every occasion!