Wrinkles: Evil can’t prevail against good will and God
Evil. This is always been a fascinating word for me, one that encompasses everything bad. The Rev. Jim Dennis, senior pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta, gave the best definition I have ever read in a note to the members. I would like to share this with you.
This was written before the responsible parties were apprehended: “Who is responsible for the ‘Boston Bombing?’”
We’ve just come through Easter and the whole arrest and crucifixion of Jesus leading up to it. Christians are so focused on the hope that Easter brings that we miss the message of how “evil” works in the world. When the political and religious authorities of Jesus’ day had their power threatened, they used murder to eliminate the threat of Jesus and to instill fear in the hearts of the disciples.
After the cross, fear and the threat of death did work on the disciples who locked the doors and shuttered the windows for fear that they might be next.
The fear stopped working on the disciples only after Jesus appeared to them alive and well (though marked with scars).
The difficult-to-translate verse John 1:5 projects poetically what the resurrection means: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5 NLT)
In this world we get scared and we get scarred, but God has revealed to us in Jesus Christ that “evil” cannot win. Evil stupidly thinks that death and fear are ultimate weapons. Evil has no ultimate weapons. Even when it does its worst, people of good will come running to help, to rescue and to save.
I began reading the newspapers about the time the Weather Underground began bombing in the name of “peace.” Even as a teenager, the incongruity of violence in the name of peace made me look around and say, “What?”
I knew that bombing in the name of “peace” was at least insane; I had not yet seen the big picture of the real cause.
After 9/11, I had a friend who wrote an email to me saying that “we must understand the terrorist’s motivations.” As a result of a series of emails back and forth, we are no longer close.
I’ve come to believe that “evil” is real. Evil infects people to the point that they can flip reality upside down and convince themselves that killing in the name of peace is right and righteous. Evil can even convince certain people that killing in the name of God is right and righteous.
Acts of terror, such as the Boston bombing are “evil.” If you were saving the word “evil” for something worse, what would it be?
The random murder, maiming and dismemberment of innocent bystanders was evil. The hearts of those who conceived it were filled with murderous darkness. There was no reason nor cause that should be heard nor understood. Evil has no reason – no cause other than chaos and fear and a will to power.
It does not matter what words finally come out taking responsibility for this act. The act itself has already screamed its name, just as it did on Good Friday. And it continues to believe it will win. It will not.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1.5 NLT)
Thanks to Rev. Jim Dennis for letting “Wrinkles” share this with you.
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