weekly thought

 

Thought for the week – from the Rev. David Jones

 

The absolute horror of a young man being dragged from his car and beaten to death by police officers in Detroit has brought sadness and outrage to the residents of that city, the USA and far beyond. The footage is harrowing to say the least. A man pleading for his life was met with the callousness of those who then chased him to his death within a short distance from his home.

No words can express the horror of this act of extreme violence, but does raise the question as to why police officers trained to uphold the law and protect the innocent should act in this way. If at least one had restrained his fellow officers there might well have been a different outcome. As it was, ‘pack’ mentality took over with one officer laughingly being heard to say he was having a ‘fun’ day. Five officers will now face justice and with no defensive evidence will rightly face the whole force of the law and the lifechanging consequences that will follow.

It’s hard to reconcile this and other similar acts of evil when we speak of a loving God. Following a recent funeral I was confronted by an old school friend who challenged me on how I reconcile a God of love with such evil and suffering that exist in the world. There was no time to really answer that question other than that there are choices we all have to make in life. God’s gift to us is free will – to believe or not, to live according to the principles of always doing good or to discard entirely the central teaching of the Bible of loving God and our neighbour as we love ourselves. Today, war mongering, with no hint of concern for human loss and suffering exists on the borders of Russia and Ukraine.

Cruel dictators whose paranoia increase weapons of mass destruction while their people starve.  Totalitarian regimes who condemn teenagers to death for their legitimate right to protest while human rights are blatantly disregarded. My friend’s question remains and is best answered when we look to the sufferings of Jesus on the cross – God has been there! Five angry police officers chose the way of evil rather than the ways of gentleness and peace – let’s always make the right choice!

 

Rev.David Jones