So asks Pilate of Jesus, according to John's account of proceedings, before he hands Jesus back over to the priests to be crucified. It is a question that is still pertinent today and which seems to be taking on greater significance on an almost daily basis.
A friend posted this on Facebook at the start of the month, "April the first – the one day when everyone checks the source of a story before believing and/or sharing it. Make sure you do the same thing for the rest of the year."
And then my attention was drawn to an interview with the actor, Denzel Washington, from 2016 in which he said, "If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed, if you do read it, you're misinformed... What is the long-term effect of too much information? One of the effects is the need to be first, not even to be true anymore." He then addresses the assembled media and says "So what a responsibility you all have, to tell the truth, not just to be first, but to tell the truth. We live in a society now where it's just first, who cares, get it out there, we don't care who it hurts, we don't care who we destroy. We don't care if it's true – just say it, sell it! Anything you practice you'll get good at..."
The juxtaposition of those two phrases, "What is truth?" and "Anything you practice you'll get good at..." found a resonance with me on two levels...
The first is the ways in which news is reported globally – it does seem increasingly to be a race to publish first and check the facts second. I am sure we can all point to people whose lives have been devastated by that attitude and where there may have been an apology in the fourth column of page 12, or as a final item on the radio or television news, unless those who have been wronged have sufficient wealth to take the media company to court to seek redress. The realm of "social" media is far less regulated and the turnaround far quicker... It is a global issue, as we can see from the vastly different reporting about what is going on in Ukraine, depending on which side of the political (and one might say, moral) divide one sits.
The second example comes from the fact that we are now in the build-up to our marking of Holy Week and celebration of the Resurrection... What is the truth that we are to share in our lives, in our speaking, in our praying, in every aspect of our being human?
Do we have the same urgency to share this life-changing, life-affirming news with the same speed and enthusiasm as the first disciples? How should we go about it in each of our individual circumstances? If we do not believe the resurrection and all that follows from that to be true, then on what is our faith based? If we do believe, then there is an urgency to tell the story far and wide for so many reasons.
So, let's practice our story telling so that we get really good at it and then tell the truth of our risen Saviour! Happy Easter!