IT is a day to mourn. A passenger plane with 295 souls on board is shot down over the Ukraine and on the same day Israel launches a ground offensive in Gaza.
This is a world divided by conflict.
The performance of evil by ordinary people is one of the most disturbing social phenomena. It is not confined to one state or one nation.
Jesus was pretty clear on the subject of violence. Loving your neighbours – and your enemies – is the centrepiece of his gospel.
But in the end, we all make up our own minds on the validity of that. Free will allows some people to take up arms and kill others seemingly without care.
George Buttrick, in his book Christ and History, said we could not be lifted from the human dilemma without our consent, for we have a certain freedom to cross a moral border from right to wrong.
To continue to trust in grace, love, kindness and generosity is difficult in a world gone mad.
What we need is faith that we can do more than survive. Ultimately, we are citizens of heaven and this apparent global madness will probably make sense when we finally escape the shadowlands.
In 2009 Queen Rania of Jordan made an urgent plea on behalf of all the civilians living in Gaza for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and for the international community to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering. Her message is just as relevant today.