Saturday, 15 April 2017

One Tiny Resurrection at a Time

28 years ago, 95 Liverpool fans were killed - another died later - at an FA Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough. The Sun newspaper at the time blamed what it described as drunken Liverpool fans. It claimed some Liverpool fans had urinated on, or stolen from, the dying. Years later, after endless campaigning and fighting, it is agreed that the Sun had lied - apparently, in part, to cover up for the incompetence of the police operation. The Sun Editor - a man of so apparently little principle that he changed the football team he supports after they were relegated - was Kelvin MacKenzie.

This Friday, the Sun published an opinion piece in which the Everton footballer Ross Barkley was insulted. Barkley had, apparently without provocation, been attacked in a night club. The Sun's opinion piece said that Barkley was stupid and compared him to a gorilla.  It also said that Barkley earned a similar wage packet to drug dealers in Liverpool (Everton, for those that do not know, are the third most famous football team in the city of Liverpool). The columnist who wrote this piece of filth has been referred to the police amid claims that the "gorilla" slur was racially motivated. That columnist? Kelvin MacKenzie. The Sun has suspended him as a columnist. One wonders why the editor did not read the piece before it went out.

In this vale of tears that is our world, I find it hard to believe that 96 innocent Liverpool fans died, while the one who lied about and abused their friends and fellow-fans is still able to find work as some kind of journalist. I find it hard to believe that as the anniversary of Hillsborough came round, MacKenzie could decide it was time to slime the city of Liverpool again. I imagine he does not care, and will not care about the upset he has caused. On this world, in this time, he will never truly pay for the hurt and damage, the lies and abuse. He is rich, and comfortable, and arrogant.

Holy Saturday is a strange day. That first Holy Saturday would not have been like the others. The disciples and their friends had no idea that they would see Jesus again. He had died - like so many others - at the hands of the Romans. It had been an outrage, an injustice. If Kelvin MacKenzie had been on the books at the Jerusalem Herald, he would no doubt have said that Jesus was a thug, a troublemaker, a delinquent with a known track record of turning over tables and chasing money-changers with whips. The disciples saw no hope, no future, no resurrection. They weren't waiting, as we do, knowing that it all changes on Sunday.

One day, it will all be different again. The day when the dead rise like their Lord, the injustices are overturned, wrongs are all righted and every tear is wiped from the eyes of those who mourn. One day, that first Resurrection will blaze back into this world to bring about every resurrection.  In the mean time, let's fight injustices one at time. Counter each lie with truth. Each act of hatred with love. From now to the Great Day may be a long time. But we will get there - one tiny resurrection at a time.

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