Recently in the news we’ve heard of the attack on the club in Orlando and the murder of Jo Cox MP. Some of us will have had personal news that’s upset us or made us angry or frustrated or sad.
So what do we do when this happens? How do we react in a way that is consistent with being a follower of Jesus Christ?
I don’t mean how do we stay being “nice”, or using our stiff upper lips. I mean what do we feel, say or how do we behave?
Some of my friends keep in touch on Facebook, and their reactions have been really encouraging. I am proud to be part of their network. For example, instead of ranting they’ve tried to understand, instead of shooting from the hip or giving their gut reactions they’ve tried to put themselves in other peoples’ shoes. Indeed they have emphasised the need for love to be the priority – quoting the famous passage on love from 1 Corinthians 13 (often used at weddings), and for darkness to be overcome by light.
Such a moment as the murder of Jo Cox is a shocking outrage. Most of all it reminds us what it means to take the risk of coming face to face with strangers, wishing to be a blessing, but having no idea if they may have uncontrollable violence or hatred in their hearts. That’s what God did in Jesus: God came face to face with us – and the result was brutal killing. For Jo Cox – it was the same: offering nothing but blessing, compassion for refugees, concern for her constituents, and care for the vulnerable.
And this is what we need to do at St Christopher’s. We are called to imitate Jesus by coming face to face with strangers, seeking to offer nothing but love, but always risking that one day we’ll encounter a person whose anger and fury is out of control.
If we think of the horror of the loss of Jo Cox, we know there is risk and cost but I believe we can feel proud of her and others we know like her, full of admiration that she died doing what she believed in, and renewed in our call to live lives like hers – taking risks, pouring our love and care out for others. Of such are the children of God.