The Disappeared Word on the Week 20th November 2021.
Here in Ireland the tragedy of teenage girls disappearing, sadly, is not new. What was new this week was the disappearance of the young Chinese tennis star who has endeared herself to the sporting world following her success in the doubles tournament at Wimbledon.
Peng disappeared after writing a social media post on 2 November accusing a former top government official of forcing her to have sex after playing tennis at his home. Her original post on Weibo has been taken down and neither former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli nor the Chinese government have commented on her allegation.
Copies of Peng’s original post still exist but if any attempt to forward it is made the post simply disappears into cyberspace. The process is known in China as being “Harmonised”! An email said to be from Peng was released on Wednesday by the Chinese state-affiliated media CGTN, but doubts have been raised over its authenticity. This has been followed by photographs on Friday showing Peng playing with a cat and surrounded with soft toys but experts have expressed scepticism about their validity.
The Women’s Tennis Association have said Peng deserves to be heard, not censored. Fellow tennis stars Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic have joined the campaign to find the ‘missing’ Chinese tennis star. Whether or not the Chinese government is impressed by any of this remains in doubt.
Certainly there were many doubters when the body of Jesus couldn’t be found. He had said in a cryptic way, when he was with the disciples, that he would rise from the dead (St John Chapter 2 verses 19 to 22). After He arose from the tomb what Jesus had said became clear to the disciples. They realised that God’s power was not to be located in buildings but in the living, reigning Lord Jesus Christ (St Matthew Chapter 28 verses 18 to 20).
The disciple Thomas, the most famous doubter of them all, bridged the gap between unbelief and faith in a most spectacular way. When he met the risen Christ he exclaimed “My Lord and my God”. It had all come together for Thomas (St John Chapter 20 verses 28 to 28). Then Jesus referred to you and me. “Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet have believed.”
Are you amongst the ‘those’ which is said to include every tribe and tongue and nation? None are left out – this salvation is for all (Titus Chapter 3 verses 11 to 14). Turn away from trusting in yourself and ask the Lord for the gift of faith. All of us have come from unbelief! (St Mark Chapter 9 verses 23 to 24).