“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mandella on love

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Nelson Mandella

This is a profound statement of how human beings were intended to be. I heard a pastor recently talk about how people excuse themselves when they do not love their neighbor saying, "I'm only human" or something to that effect. His point was that Jesus was the only person who was truly human in that we were meant to live a sinless life and love our neighbor.  When I love my neighbor, I am acting in what should be the natural way for me to act because it is the way I was intended to be. For me, it feels right when I do what is right. It feels right when I show love to others.  Perhaps this is in reaction to the inbred nature that I have as a human being. Clearly, I do not do what I should do, but when I do, the feeling of rightness might be an indication of me touching what I was intended to be.

This is what Mandela seems to be implying by his statement.  If you agreed with the above, you would think love would come more naturally to people because God intended us to love, not to hate. Hate is unnatural. The fact that it is too often the choice does not diminish the fact that it is unnatural.


Sunday, December 01, 2013

"O Holy Night"

Every year, my daughter and I text each other when we have heard O Holy Night for the first time.  This year for me, I heard it in a small, basically empty Thai restaurant where Kathi and I were eating.
But today was the real deal in that we sang it in church.  Both times I texted Ames to tell her.  To date, she hasn't heard it yet.  But it signals the real beginning of the Christmas season for us.

The lyric that is particularly powerful for us, is this one.
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

In His name all oppression shall cease. That goes along with the earlier verse that says
Long lay the world in sin and error pining till He appear and the soul felt its worth
This song is so powerful because it demonstrates how valuable people are to God and the ends to which he will go to save them.  In a nutshell, people are exceedingly valuable and the birth of Christ is proof of their value to God. Additionally, if they are so valuable, it will be in HIS name that all oppression shall cease.

So to whom should people affected by disabilities look to see relief from oppression? I would agree with the song that it is those who worship Jesus, who follow Christ who should be the ones who make oppression in any form cease.  He taught us to love one another and through His life and death demonstrated the worth of people. People should feel compelled to look to the Christian church for relief from oppression. If they can't find it there, where then can they go?

We cannot be the ones who disappoint people about their value, their worth. We must be the place were people do not experience any form of oppression.  We need to be the place where they feel love, worth, peace, brotherhood. In particular, this should be the place where people with impairments feel that expression. We need to be a bastion of safety and value for them in an oppressive world.

Remember these things, please, as you sing this song this Christmas. In your heart, "fall on your knees" and both worship and demonstrate your belief that all people have incredible worth.

God bless,