Opportunity to put aside two huge lies
It’s hard to believe, but we find ourselves arriving at Easter already.
The kids have had one whole term at school and the clocks have gone back. We are settling down for winter again.
In contemplating writing this article, it struck me that the more I look around, the more I see people who seem to have ‘‘taken offence’’ at something that someone else has said or done.
Now I don’t want to imply that everyone should be able to say or do exactly as they wish, because sometimes that can be downright impolite or anti-social.
But it does appear that society as a whole takes far more ‘‘offence’’ than is really necessary.
Are we all that insecure in our own perspectives that we have to pull down someone else’s to make ourselves feel better?
And is being offended the right way to do this?
Easter is about many things to many people.
This year I’d like to suggest that Easter is about choices and how each of us is responsible for the choices we make.
We cannot blame others, we cannot pass the buck and we cannot expect someone else to pick up the pieces for our decision making errors.
In scripture, Christ’s crucifixion takes place between two thieves and during the brief conversation that is held between the three men. One thief chooses to give his life to the Lord and one doesn’t.
We are not told what those gathered around the foot of the hill make of the decisions of the two men. We are only told of their choices.
Each chose what they believed was right for them personally, and accepted the consequences of that decision.
Easter is an opportunity to put aside two huge lies that dominate our culture.
The first of these is that if you disagree with someone’s choices, you must fear or hate them.
The second lie that we are drawn into is that in order to love someone you must be in agreement with everything they choose to believe in or do. Both of these are nonsense. Are the choices we make going to improve our lives, the lives of our children, or challenge us to take a new path?
In our fast-paced world we too often respond rather than listen.
We are quick to judge without understanding the back story.
We take offence because we feel our views and beliefs are impinged upon, when really all we need to do is to talk to one another about why our views differ.
I think that Easter is a time for us to contemplate the choices around us, to make time to listen carefully to others and to journey together towards understanding, even though we may not all believe the same thing.
You don’t have to compromise your convictions to be compassionate.
Reverend Richard Aitken is from St John’s Anglican Parish.
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Reverend Richard Aitken of St John’s Church.