Yesterday evening, a very sad letter arrived in the mail.
Written by one N. Williams, we believe her plight is worth thinking about today as we sit down to commemorate Good Friday. Spare a thought for her. Whisper a prayer for her and everyone else suffering from what she is going through.
The letter by the way is titled “Burgled three times and still counting”.
“The last couple of days have been stressful for my family,” she writes (see letter in full below). “You see if you have your place burgled three times consecutively within three days report … you start wondering whether the criminals are more powerful than the Police force.”
According to her, the list of items stolen tells a story.
“When one reviews the list of stolen items, food features on the list as well interestingly in a fertile country? Are people becoming that desperate or is it greed and laziness?”
She added: “The criminals are not from another planet but live within the communities and in some instances the community members know who they are but perhaps too afraid to tell.
“Some of them are could be in process of reforming while others may simply never change. It would be risky if the people start fearing criminals more than the authorities.”
This is one of the many bizarre incidents to have emerged in this country lately. And it’s sending a shock wave throughout Samoa with an element of fear. It is without a doubt disturbing.
On the surface, when we look at Samoa today, all seems to be well. The group of islands we’re so blessed to be able to call home is still regarded as the pearl of the Pacific, as many visitors to these shores will testify.
But as you dig deeper underneath the surface, you’ll find that all is not as it seems. Corruption has infiltrated many spheres of our society to the point where it seems to be widely accepted and even taken as the norm.
From the government to the churches to families, nothing has been spared.
In many instances, there is a very fine line that many people tread between right and wrong. Some have crossed that line with their eyes wide open knowing full well the consequences that come with the decision to do so.
Others have been forced to ignore the line altogether so that they end up convincing themselves there is no line anyway.
Others have changed the margins of that line to suit their preferences. They’ve done it so blatantly that it’s absolutely impossible to ignore.
We don’t need to tell you anymore, you and I live in this country, we see what is happening. We might have different versions and interpretations but that’s fine. To each his own.
This morning, thousands of people in this country will converge to different church buildings to commemorate Good Friday. There, the message of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion will be preached from pulpit to pulpit. We would remember the time when the Son of God was dragged, beaten and hammered onto a cross.
On this day, Jesus was beaten, tortured and then nailed to a cross, the most agonizing way the Roman authorities had devised for capital punishment.
The question is why did Jesus Christ die in such a way? The simple answer is he died to save this dying world where sinners live. He died for sinners like me and you; like the criminals of this world who continue to give society a heartache and headache.
This is a tough one and I know that it is hard to accept but the truth is that Jesus died for criminals too.
Indeed, God is a God of second chances, third, fourth and a hundred chances. That’s why Jesus died. He did not die for the well and good. If the world was so perfect and there was no sin, there would have been no need for him to die.
Which is the tough meaning of Good Friday. Our flesh will scream out revenge against people who have done us wrong. It’s natural.
But on this Good Friday, Jesus Christ paid the sacrifice, suffered and died on that cross. In doing so, he saved and redeemed us and that through him, we can have the gift of everlasting life. All we have to do is accept it and be grateful.
What does that mean for us?
Well if Jesus Christ died for us to forgive our sins, who are we to continue to live in unforgiveness towards others – even those who have wronged us? Does the Bible not command us to love our enemies?
It’s tough I know. But that’s where obedience and blessings come in.
Here’s a word of warning. Yes the blood of Jesus Christ forgives our sins. But sin has consequences. The same applies to criminal offending. There is a price to pay. Always.
Have a restful Good Friday Samoa. And thank you Jesus for saving us!