I feel it's such a sad day here in the UK after the news of the brutal and senseless killing of the MP Jo Cox on the doorstep of her constituency surgery where just moments before, she had been helping the people of her local community. It is so hard to understand why someone, anyone, would ever consider the murder of another human to be a viable answer to differing political or religious beliefs, never mind lifestyle choices as seen in the absolutely terrible killings that have taken place in Orlando, Florida.
These things would just not happen if we, as a collective race, began to recognise the reality of God around us, represented by the existence of each and every one of us. Jesus taught that we were to do to others as we would have them do to us, and in this teaching lies the real power of life.
I like to use a very particular description of myself in social media feeds as well as this blog that says:
"What I am is not what I do. So who am I? I am just you in a different story."
I use this, not to appear cool or enigmatic, but to encourage anyone reading it to think about themselves as part of a picture which is infinitely larger than anything we could ever possibly hope to imagine, but that we can catch glimpses of if we are willing to pay careful attention to the fact that we are all fundamentally the same. I am no different to you except in how my life is being expressed, and that even that expression of God given life in me is not that far removed from you or anyone else on the planet. I have the same basic needs as any other human being, as do you. The very same spinning atoms that are whizzing about and that happen to have been brought together to make up you, make up me also.
In his monumental statement "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Jesus encapsulates one of the basic principles of life that we need to understand and that is: the principle of what I do to another human being...I actually am doing to myself.
No man is an island
John Donne said that "No man is an island" and this is so true.
My actions and thoughts do not happen in isolation, but are part of a greater whole that God has created me to live in and contribute to. A whole which sin causes me to become blind to because one of the most devastating results of sin is the creation of a erroneous sense of separation from God and others. When we believe that we exist completely apart from God and others, we will be labouring under the illusion that we are fundamentally alone in the universe and that nothing we do has any lasting impact in the grand scheme of things in general, resulting in the damaging conclusion that "Every man for himself" is the only way to live/survive.
When we begin to recognise ourselves and others as intentional creations of a loving God, each with our own unique story and each having the potential to contribute to the positive growth and expansion of the human race in its entirety, and which in turn has the potential to contribute to an ever expanding universe, then our lives cease becoming a perpetual round of self preservation in order to become agents of the greater good.
Our blindness to this reality does not make it any more unreal
This is in essence is what the cross is all about. Jesus came to serve the ultimate greater good which was the salvation of the human race from the self destructive beliefs and subsequent actions that sin produces, Beliefs and actions which, it has to be said, continue to have a resonance beyond the boundaries of this physical life.
These heinous killings that have taken place this week have come from a mindset that fails to recognise the God life that resides in us all and that ultimately connects us all. The fact that we may have differing beliefs and views at this point in time is irrelevant to the underlying and fundamental truth that we are all human and are therefore all created by and find our existence in God. Our blindness to this reality does not make it any more unreal.
Jesus said that he had come to "Open the eyes of the blind" and the simple act of praying a prayer to Him in order to seek forgiveness for our sins (no matter how important it is for us to do) will have no significant transformative benefit whatsoever if it is not coupled with a determined dedication to seek, absorb and act upon His teaching which quite clearly states:
Do to others, what you would want them to do for you
Whether you believe in God or not...you have to admit that we would all be in a much better state right now if each and every person on the planet lived their life according to this simple creed because it's important to realise that each and every one of us, by our thoughts and actions, are contributing to the collective existence, consciousness and potential growth or decline of the human race.
Perhaps now you can understand why Jesus felt it was so important to tell His disciples to go out and make disciples of every nation.