The tragedy in Brussels this week has provoked the usual responses. While shattered people face their injuries and losses, the press and politicians play into the extremists’ hands by getting into a frenzy, and ordinary people fear for what will happen next.
Xenophobes demand all manner of restrictions and reprisals, progressives cling on to their dogma that secular liberal values are self-evidently superior to everything else.
The problem is that the first view is based on fear, condemnation and self-interest, and the second is an assumption so baseless that it contains the seeds of its own destruction. The first judges that evil threatens their interests everywhere, the other doesn’t even have the capacity to discuss evil.
When Jesus died on the cross on the original Good Friday, he was doing something radically different from both of these. He was in a cosmic confrontation with evil, but he was not motivated by fear or self-interest. At the same time he was reaching out to sinful humanity – not with politically-correct tolerance, but with divine love to challenge evil desires and behaviour and to bring about personal renewal.
His sacrifice looked like weakness and defeat, but it had the power to save and heal. He asks us to take up our crosses too, and choose the way of love and sacrifice. Only this way can people and society find release from evil.
We don’t think you need to be religious or even a church member to subvert the frenzy and fear. Neither do you need to be well educated or powerful.
Emulate Jesus, copy Jesus, ask for his help. See what happens.
You can try this at home. In your street, at work, in town, on the farm, at the office – or wherever. It might not be easy but it will be Good.