Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lent day 43 - non-violent speech

I'm the sort of fellow who can quickly escalate my rhetoric. Fisticuffs is harder and more risky, blunt words? For many that is easier.

In Luke 23, Jesus' last words are "into your hands I commit my spirit". It wasn't unusual for people being crucified to call down curses on the Romans. Going out with a bang rather than a whimper. But when we see Jesus on the cross, he doesn't speak curses but blessings, like "forgive them, for they know not what they do".

For a centurion to attest to Jesus' innocence does reflect on his conduct. I've recently seen a few Christians publicly standing up for refugees and for the environment (creation) because they believe these things are important, and biblical. In all of these cases, both deeds and words have been non-violent, often drawing comment from the police and being cleared by the courts. Think how different that is to kicking and screaming, or verbal abuse.

There is much to stand up for in our age, issues of peace and justice such as characterise the kingdom. Not that all of our actions will change the world into a utopia, but if the cross is our forgiveness, our reconciliation, our restoration and a sign of our future and that of the entire of creation, we need to live as if this were true. It is time to speak and act in cross shaped ways.

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