Humanity, individually and as a body, when anxious is inclined to look for victims. Individuals and groups can pick on other individuals or groups to scapegoat them – taking out all sorts of unresolved feelings on the target group or person, in an attempt to feel more secure.
Christ has unmasked this process, allowing himself to become the victim who is killed to that the powers that be, of government and of religion, can be revealed for what they are, anxiously oppressive. He accepts their projections, discloses to public gaze what is afoot, and then forgives their shadow side, accepting their scapegoating of him.
Christians are now called to be open-eyed about scapegoating, accepting their own shadow side, and looking with care and compassion to rescue victims. Hence my deep attraction to HMD. The Jewish people for so long have been the victims, the scapegoats, of an anxious world. The anxieties and the scapegoating need continual unmasking. HMD allows this. And all victims need rescue. HMD focusses us on this.
HMD is a time to accept our shadows, to acknowledge our scapegoating, and to look to the victim. A truly crucial day.
The Very Revd Dr John Davies DL
Dean of Derby