What is truth?
Unlike Pontius Pilate, who did not have the advantage of enjoying electronic media, day by day we are all besieged by sensory input and information. All that information claims to be presenting us with some aspect of the truth. From Facebook to news services, to text messages and everything in between, we are inundated with information on the information superhighway. All of this purports to be a manifestation of the truth. We get that information via the television, our tablets, our computers, and our telephones. Unless you have wandered into a place in the canyon where there is no available data service, there is essentially no respite from it. Earlier this summer, while kayaking on Hills Creek Lake, I was talking with someone on the cell phone. At a certain level, eventually one has to ask, “How surreal is that?” If you have the fortitude to take a Sabbath from all that input, you know you will feel left out and left behind when you become plugged in again.
One consequence of this is that is having a marked impact on the way in which we all live: There is no time for analysis. There is no time for any reasoned reflection of the information we receive. There is no time to think about the sensory inputs that continually surround us. Who has the time for any of that? All that is left really is time for reactivity. When there is only time for reactivity, then we are all susceptible to manipulation, because our reactions will be shaped by the quality of the information that we have received.
“What is truth?” may once have been an interesting question for idle philosophers and their ilk, but now it is a question that we ought to be asking ourselves on a daily basis. Because while a lot of what we hear may have the ring of truth, it does not stand up to the scrutiny of the fact-finding microscope. And we have seen plenty of that in political life, where there have been certain claims made by certain candidates, that have the appearance of the truth right up until one starts doing some fact-checking. But again, who has time for that?
So, we essentially live in an environment in which we move from crisis to crisis, as one person recently cryptically remarked, “we look forward to the crisis of the week.”
In a way, we have become prisoners of the availability of information and we have been shackled by the fact that there is little time left for other than reactivity. And reactivity, coupled with frustration manifests itself in rage.
What is truth?
On this feast of Christ the King, we are asserting that Jesus, the broken, vulnerable, that stands before Pontius Pilate is king, and we do so in the face that there is not overwhelming evidence of His Kingship in this world. The overwhelming evidence is that hate, not love rules the day; that political power grows out the barrel of a gun just as a chairman named Mao once claimed; but in Jesus we have the collision of the world’s truth with God’s Truth.
And God’s Truth is to redeem that which is broken. Through the Love of Jesus on the Cross.
God’s Truth is that He sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved. God’s Truth is compassion for the human condition—what we have made the world to be and what we are making it to be even now. The human truth is that there is much over which to despair and there is much to fear; God’s Truth is one of hope for the future. The world will tell you that they’ve done with Jesus because he was put to death 2000 years ago. The truth of God is that there is power in the cross, because the cross is a sign of love and God’s ultimate victory.