One Wedding and No Funeral

The Royal wedding happened then. As if it was possible to miss it! Now I’m no royalist, as the sarcasm in that opening comment probably gave away, but I do think it was wonderful to see so many people celebrating together. On that occasion at least.

Of course every wedding should be a wonderful celebration. I certainly hope that the ones I’m involved in leading feel like they are. In each and everyone of them I would hope that we are able to celebrate the amazing gift of human love. To delight in seeing a couple who long for their worlds to become inter-twined in a new and exciting way and to do so knowing that the love they are proclaiming mirrors the love of God in all our lives. I believe that no matter what happens in the months and years that follow, God celebrates with us at a wedding.

I am even more sure that the same can not be said of the bigger event that happened the following day. I can never believe that God would delight and celebrate in the death of a human being. There is no space within my understanding of a God who loves us to allow that conclusion.

I am still struggling with my own feelings regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It seems to have left so many questions that in all probability I will never know the answers to. Yet I know that when I saw others celebrating the death of another human being I felt sickened. That’s not to say that I didn’t understand that there was a strong possibility that Osama needed to be killed in order to save others. Or even that I could not understand the feelings of those who thought that for the atrocities he had committed he deserved death. Indeed my Favourite theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer struggled with those same themes when turning aside from his staunch pacifist stance to become part of 1944 bomb plot to assassinate Hitler reasoning that if he remained silent he would find that he, too, would feel implicated in Hitler’s atrocities.

Rather I felt sickened because I cannot believe that God would delight in anyone’s death. Will the world be a safer place now? I don’t know. Will those who have suffered in New York and London feel that justice has been served? Again I don’t know.

I do know however, that I will continue to celebrate love and mourn death wherever and however I encounter them. I think that’s what God would want of me