Easter specs

22/04/12 | Posted by Ian Black

Like many I am finding the reports of the trial of Anders Breivik disturbing. Last July he killed 77 people in attacks in Norway, not least 70 young people on an island camp. The details are distressing to read. The case at the moment is trying to determine his sanity, but my assumption is that sane people don't behave like that. I got a glimpse of that the other day seeing the way a group of young people responded to a tragic death with compassion and sensitivity, honouring the one who had died with dignity and devotion. This seems to be how normal people behave. The trouble of course with 'normal' is that how we see it depends on what we take for granted and that has to be fed.

 Bible specs

If we fill our hearts and minds with hatred, with corruption and vice, we will start to think that this is normal.  This is the level at which I think violent video games and films become a cancer in our society.  Anders Breivik played violent computer games.  If we fill our minds with images which treat others as objects, be that for desire or of a distorted image of what we think people should look like, then we start to distort how we approach relationships and our sense of self worth, and other’s worth.  If we fill our minds with assumptions that there is no God, that what we see is all there is and when it is over that’s it, we build a picture of the world that has no concept of the eternal and no hope of heaven.

What is normal for a Christian is fed by Easter.  This event is pivotal in shaping how they see the world and approach it.  The natural course we expect is death and end.  Easter, Christ rising from the dead, changes that to be infused with blessing and the best definition I have heard of blessing is that which gives life.  When asking ‘is this blessing to us’ the question concerns whether something is life giving, life enhancing, life affirming.  The approach to everything is viewed through Easter specs.

Those Easter specs bring hope over despair, change over decay, love over hate, life over death.  It is a vision of a new heaven and a new earth where justice and righteousness flourish for all.  It doesn’t have a space for taking guns onto an island to commit mass murder.  It does have a space for those who scream when the worst happens and cry out in anguish and despair.  Whether Anders Breivik is determined to be sane or pyschologically ill, his actions were not compatible with how the world looks through Easter specs.

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