We Chinese say “the gray bids farewell to the dark” when a youth dies before his or her parents. This is exceptionally sad for the bereaved, for naturally the old pass away before the young. To make the matter worse, such deaths are often associated with acute illnesses or accidents, contributing to the grief of those who remain.
So what if a father or mother, knowingly sends their child to die in a gruesome and terrible way, for someone who does not even know or recognize them, so that this somebody may live? It’s probably beyond the comprehension of most, if not all, of us.
And this is the way God has chosen, for His Son to be born into this world, die on the cross, ex-communicated from Himself, so that someone, that is, you and me, the wandering souls, may live.
The hymn I Cannot Tell tries to describe the strangeness of this love:
I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship,
Should set His love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wand’rers,
To bring them back, they know not how or when.
And as the prophet Isaiah said:
All of us are like sheep. We have wandered away from God.
All of us have turned to our own way.
And the Lord has placed on his servant
the sins of all of us.
May we be constantly reminded of the Love of God. Since, to be at Peace with the earth, with the creatures, with our neighbours, and with ourselves, cannot be fully attained unless we are at Peace with God, who created the world, and all that is in it.
So let us meditate on John’s words once again, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
Adapted from the transcript of my Reflections on Peace on RTHK Radio 4 in 2016.