LOVE ONE ANOTHER

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

1-25-02 (updated 8-31-20)

‘Their GOD is not our GOD.’
“Our beliefs are the true beliefs”.

So many times have I heard this come out of the mouths of Christians I am reminded of what Jesus said, “It is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out.”
I was involved in a discussion once with a Christian acquaintance and the topic came up of whom GOD loves more.

Who are the true chosen?

I asked him to list the people on Earth whom GOD did not create. You see we are ALL the children of GOD.

I related a story: when my grandmother baked cookies for me she always made more oatmeal raisin cookies than chocolate chip cookies. Why? Because I liked oatmeal raisin cookies more than chocolate chip cookies. If we believe that GOD shows some sort of preference for one group over another, certainly the chosen people are Asian, for there are many more of them than anyone else.

I believe GOD is big enough, intelligent enough, and loving enough to speak to all people in their own language and in their own culture. I believe there is a measure of truth intertwined within all the religions of the world and that we are missing the entire message when we exclude one faith journey vs another because of our tribalistic propensity to hold our own ritualistic faith as the entire truth of GOD’s teaching. How much wisdom has been lost in such ignorance.

Jesus taught, ”Love one another”, No caveats, No claims of exclusivity of membership. “By this [love] will they know that you are disciples of mine”, LOVE is a common destination that leads to peace. In fact, it is the only destination that leads toward peace. Until we can embrace our diversity of culture, religion, and faith with the understanding that GOD speaks through many tongues, our destination will be one of division. Until we learn to focus our energies on a common destination of loving one another, our world will never find peace. I believe that:

GOD WILL NEVER DENY HEAVEN
TO ONE WHO LOVES.
 THIS IS OUR PROMISE, IT IS OUR HERITAGE,
 IT IS OUR TEACHING, AND IT IS OUR GIFT.

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

There was a day, many years ago, when my daughter first entered my sphere. She was 5 months old and came via delivery on an airplane from Korea. There were many who gathered with us at the gateway entrance at the airport. The traveling companion stewardess brought her out and gave her to me. They also gave us a bag full of essentials to take with for a 5 month old girl. She had diapers, an extra set of clothes, a small hairbrush and wipes. As she was passed around among the crowd, I went off to a corner and began looking at just what the bag contained. I looked through it again. I couldn’t find it. I looked again.


THE MANUAL WAS MISSING

When I bought my first car I looked in the glove compartment and there I found a manual on how to figure out how the mechanicals worked. How to turn the lights on, the windshield wipers, the interior lights and how to work the radio. As well as dimensions and what kind of fuel to use. And so much more. Certainly a child must come with a Manual. How to be a dad, how to raise a little girl, how to teach. I was a bit overwhelmed.

I didn’t come with a Manual either, at least not at the beginning.

How many of us find ourselves lost, not prepared for the things of life as things happen? Today more than ever. What is a pandemic? Why can’t I just go get a vaccine and call it a day. Why is there politic, why don’t churches all believe the same thing. In Sunday school as a fourth grader I asked my teacher, “Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I learned that that question was not discussed. Yet I wanted to know why. I have always wanted to know why. Why are things the way they are with an all knowing, all loving GOD?

religion_10

When I was done with Sunday School I was given a concordance Bible. A Bible where what Jesus said was written in red. I sat down and read the Red Print. Then I read the Old and New Testament. I had found the Manual.

Certainly it was not that easy. When I was reading Proverbs, or Wisdom, or the Psalms,  a parable from Jesus, or an apostle’s comment I recognized similar events or challenges that I had seen in the neighborhood, or a story on TV, or behavior that I recognized in my peer group. I read a simple set of rules that were put down by GOD.

Ten Commandments

These are a good start. If you find life being challenging do not refuse the Bible because it is “religious”. Look at it as an owners manual. A touch of history where when certain people did this or that their actions caused reactions. There is a story in the books that are about your challenge, both causes and corrections. Too many have their Manual sitting on a shelf covered in dust when it can be the start of a knowledgeable life that can make more sense or make pre-planning a norm and not reaction.

Have a wonderful experience when you sit down with the Manual and the one who wrote it. dw