Love, not hate
Some years ago, speaking to a group of young people of different faiths, I asked where they got their news from. Was it though watching or listening to the news on tv or radio, or from picking up a newspaper? The answer, of course, was no. They simply got their news from Social Media, with its complicated algorithms which decided what it thinks you should or want to see, and through the shared posts of friends and comments made on timelines. Whilst social media has so many positives and blessings we know too how rife it can be with rumours and inaccuracies, subjective comments disguised as news, and sometimes awash with intentionally misleading news that turns out to be false.
As Passover draws near, there are many rumours abounding about Jesus. And some of the Pharisees and Scribes, the leaders of the day who feel challenged by him, have been busy bolstering rumours and false news about Jesus. People are talking among themselves, conjecturing if Jesus will come to the festival or not, as they stand around wondering who to listen to, trying to work out what is true. There is an air of tension and many mixed messages. In the midst of these tensions is a plot to kill Jesus who has, for a while, retreated to the countryside, away from the public light. Soon his time will come.
We all have a responsibility to seek the truth and help to create a world that is open and honest. Even the little things we say can have a huge effect on people. We can counter false rumours and misleading negative narratives with kind and gentle words which seek to bring peace not pain. In many ways, the world is so polarised, people are so divided. Today, how can we enter the divisions of our world and live well in that space between people of opposing views? How can we bring peace not pain, truth not rumour, love not hate?
Loving Father, may we always seek the truth and bring peace not pain to those whom we meet. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.