Can it be? It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere? Where did summer go? Heck, where did the year go? It has been a rather challenging year for almost everyone. With a scant three months before the page turns and 2020 becomes a memory, it is probably a good time to remember that the hardships and challenges we have endured are what life is about. It is not about jetting to some far off destination. Experiencing the delight of other places or tasting yet another new dish. Life is about living each day the best we can. To be kind and respectful. To watch and listen and learn. We don’t have to agree with what everyone says. Or what everyone does. We must do our part to not harm others. And this means respecting each other as if we are all borne of the same Father. That we are brothers and sisters in the most basic thing that defines each of us. Our DNA says so. Our RNA says so. Does our heart tell the same tale, or do we insist that enlightenment is only for the few? I tend to think it’s for the few. Oh. Check that. That kind of thinking, of allowing ourselves to think that we are better than the other only brings ruin to a community. If this pandemic wracked world has something left to teach us, let it be a simple reminder. A smile, even beneath a mask, still radiates warmth within. We cannot love everyone, but we can respect everyone. And in doing so, perhaps, that respect will become something greater. Something better. Perhaps.
The Christian world celebrates the greatest miracle of all – the resurrection of the Son of God, who conquered death and in so doing made life eternal possible for all of us. When Adam and Eve fell from grace, it was because they disobeyed the Father, the Creator of all things. God gave them the world He created and yet to them it was not enough. Pride and avarice lead to their downfall. They wanted the truth, or so they thought. What they wanted, in reality, was a world in their image, a world that believed in the things that they believed in, a world that bowed to their whims and wishes.
The Son of Man came to this world as an instrument of peace. Of humility. Of love. The Father so loved His creation that He sent His Son to live among us. To teach us that humility, peace, obedience and love can be and must be part of our lives. He did not come to this world to condemn us. He came to this world to bring His Father’s creation back to the Father. He died so that we may live.
Today, how many of us judge each other by the wealth that we have accumulated. How many of us look at the schools that we attend, at the clothes that we wear, at the cars that we drive, and decide that these superficial accomplishments are the touchstones that determine our worth. How many of us Christians look upon the poor with disdain, that somehow, they are not worthy of our attention. Or of our love. How many of us look at our non Christian brothers and sisters and fail to see that they too are created in the image of our Father, the Creator who made us all. Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Christian. All of us, all of us, are the children of the One God who made the universe. A God who loved the world so much that He sacrificed His own son surely loves each and every one of us. No matter the faith, no matter the inclination, we are all children of the universal Creator.
This Easter, let us remember that all of us strive for the same things in our lives. To try to live a life of goodness. To provide for our families and those that we love. To share with each other the gifts that our Creator gave us. To serve each other, to understand each other. If the Son of God came not to condemn but to love, then we must try and do the same. In the eyes of God, we are all His children.
If we truly believe in the Resurrection, then we must believe that Jesus gave His life for all of us. He did not see the difference between a Jew or a Samaritan. In His eyes, we are all Children of God and deserving of His love. And the love of the Father. Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Christian. We are all created in image of the Father. We, the men and women of this world, are all God’s children. And we are all the beneficiaries of the Son’s obedience to the Father.
On this day, I pray with a dear friend – that we see ourselves in others, realize that we all want the same things in life – health, prosperity and happiness. And love. That it is in sharing these gifts from the Creator that we prove ourselves worthy of our heritage – a life eternal with the Son of Man, the Son of God, and the Father who made us all.