Despite the nearly overwhelming contrasts between the two I was struck by this sobering reality: those holding authority have the potential to wreak great havoc, hurt and destruction upon the lives of others whether it be in Burma or Australia or anywhere else in the world.
That people hurt people is a sad reality of the world. But I was also reminded that this is not the end of the story.
In the midst of the refugee camp there were pockets of abundant hope. On a number of occasions we met with people who lived in the camp not because they had to but because they sensed God’s call to remain to live and work with those who can’t leave. These people were full of grace, love and contentment. Despite the attempts of the authorities there was compassion, love and goodwill in their heart that could not be stifled or destroyed.
It was a reminder of the reality that God sustains the world through his people inspired by the actions of Jesus. Jesus is the one who has overcome all authority and rescued humanity. It does not matter what the world might throw at God’s people it is the resurrection of Jesus that continually reminds us that ultimate victory belongs to God. It is God who will have the last say, and one day all authority will belong to him.
Although Cardinal George gloomily proposed that he expected to die in bed, his successor in prison, and the following successor a martyr, he went onto conclude that the successor to the martyr “will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilisation, as the church has done so often in human history.”
No matter how difficult or bad our situation may be, God is still the God of resurrection. For Christians, no matter where we are in the world, there is always this hope.
Stephen L Baxter