From my Christian perspective, this prompt is a no brainer for anyone in the USA with a moral bone in his/her body. But I have good Christian friends who disagree with me, so why open the gap and create more divisiveness?
“Humans don’t always know how to be human.” That was the sentence that caught my attention In last Sunday’s sermon about love. Is loving one another our sincere intention?
Most of us know the Bible’s definition; We’ve heard the scripture countless times. But reading it, saying it, and doing it Aren’t the same – not even sometimes.
Mary Grace Reynolds took the topic Of love on Super Bowl Sunday (The week of Valentine’s Day) And related it to a movie and play.
The movie was “Remember the Titans.” The play was football and dance. Some newly integrated football players Were brought together by chance.
On the football field they never joined Together and danced as one. During practice their coach Sent the players out on a run.
The coach stopped them at Gettysburg – a place of war – A place where 50,000 men died Fighting the fight we’ve fought before.
Take a lesson from the dead; Come together on hallowed ground. Learn to play in harmony. Set aside prejudice; let oneness be found.
Push yourself aside for the good Of the whole – learn to love. Display the honest hope and possibilities Born of God – born to hug and not shove.
The Galatians had the same problem – Fighting, arguing, not loving. Paul wrote a letter to them, Encouraging huddling, not shoving!
Paul says we are wearing the identity of Christ and while we come from difference, and difference is beauty. We are nothing except Christians
Like the Titans, we have to change our actions and attitudes. We have to put on the uniform and come ready to win. Recognize we as the players need one another. Remember we are the players, not the coach.
Come ready to play the game Of patience forgiveness, and love, Do not be a slave to estrangement. Take coaching from our God above.
Faith working through love frees us – So be careful you don’t get eaten up By the ways we differ – find unity. Play to win – not to get beaten up!
Let God teach us to be human. Christ is our coach – always! He made us to play together in peace. Let’s claim that identity and give God the praise.
You will know I am human – You will know I was made by God to love you and guard your dignity by my love!
This post was originally blogged last year. I was inspired to repost it for you today because Dr. David Jeremiah wrote this in his devotional today in response to the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37:
Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
“Jesus’ point was this: Your neighbor is anyone with a need that you are able to meet. Look for a neighbor whose need you might meet.”
People may excite in themselves a glow of compassion… by going and seeking an object that requires compassion. Henry Ward Beecher
The post was part of my “Embrace” series and it was titled. “Embrace Everyone.”
Embrace Everybody and Recognize our Commonality while we Celebrate our Differences
Know that We are more alike than different. More binds us than separates us.
Embrace Everybody. Work to make this world A better place because You are in it.
May tomorrow be a new day of new hope and greater unity. Let’s each do our part to make it so.
Embrace Everybody. Oh, and take care of our bees. We need them!
Who will you meet who needs a hug from you today? Reach out, my friends … here’s a virtual one from Bob & me!
Today in church, the choir taught the congregation a new hymn. At least it was new to us. About verse three, the congregation couldn’t hold – they had to (simply HAD to) join in… and the message resonated with everyone there.
I was reminded of the slogan at Bloom in the Desert where we attended several different Januarys when we vacationed near Palm Springs, CA: “We welcome all who welcome all.”
Wouldn’t it be grand if all people could exhibit that level of inclusivity?
Hallelujah! Love is grown in this place! I am so happy to worship in a place where “All Are Welcome.” I just wish we could cultivate more diversity in our little corner of Montana. We came from California 15 years ago. Our community in CA was made up of people from many ethnicities. I miss that! Montana does have a large Native American population, though. I wish more of them would move into southwest Montana!
Meet a couple of very talented brothers:
What can we – as diversity-loving citizens – do to encourage more of that “We Welcome All” attitude in our world?
Share some ideas with me.
I send my love to you. See you tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
My cast insures that I’ll wear red whether I want to or not!
Tomorrow the pins will come out and the cast comes off!
Then my prayer is that the swelling decreases & flexibility begins to return.
That will be a time to celebrate. Don’t you agree? Wheeee!
Oh, but why “Wear Red” You ask? It’s Pentacost!
Tongues of fire Descended on the folks Gathered at the Temple
The tongues of fire Were the Holy Spirit Entering the Disciples
Here’s how the story goes:
At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His disciples to go out into the world to minister and heal the sick on their own. Fifty days after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit (with tongues of fire) descended onto the disciples, allowing them to speak in tongues. All the people from all parts of the world who were gathered there were able to hear the Word in their own language as the apostles (filled with the Holy Spirit) spoke to them. Some explanations say that it was the “Pentecostal experience” that allowed the apostles direct communication with God. The PBS News Hour explanation of Pentecost says, “That signaled a major shift in the religious landscape and laid the foundation for what would become Christianity.”
Pentecost shares roots with the Jewish holiday, Shavu’ot. Since that holiday’s liturgical color is red, to symbolize the apostles “tongues of fire” and also the blood of martyrs, sometimes Christians will dress in red or decorate churches with red. Many churches hold baptisms and confirmations on that day, as well. (Our church was decorated in red and we held a fellowship hour after church celebrating the graduation of three of our young people from elementary to high school – and from high school to college.)
Many artists have tried to depict what that day of Pentecost must have been like for the people there.
This is one of my favorites:
Here is another favorite… It shows the people from various cultures, each of whom speak a different language, receiving the Holy Spirit. God’s sign of UNITY through and within our diversity.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could have a “Pentecostal experience” where we understand every language as if it were spoken in our own tongue? No more language barriers?
How are you celebrating Pentecost today? Are you wearing red? Let’s all celebrate UNITY through and within our diversity.
God bless you. See you later… After the pins come out!
Do you ever doubt your niche? Yesterday I posted excerpts from Gottfried’s Banter, a blog whose niche is humor. No, I wasn’t suggesting that my blog should try to fit that niche. Humor like Gottfried’s doesn’t come naturally to me like it does to him.
No, it’s not numbers, It’s my purpose that dictates My niche and my style.
It’s my gifts that spell The reason for my blogging. How about your niche?
What’s your intention? Do you need one hundred one Questions to find out?
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai, has questions Yes, one hundred one!
Yesterday’s post had to do with service: Focusing on Veteran’s Day and military service. I alluded to the fact that there are many ways To serve, but I didn’t elaborate on that.
Did you read that line and pause? Did you think about the expanded meaning Of service – the act of serving – and its Relationship to Christian living?
I did! But, I decided to wait until today To embrace the myriad of ways We enjoy and benefit from serving. We are encouraged to “Be Servants!”
Scripture calls us to serve others in love as Galatians 5:13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers [and sisters]. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Having a servant’s heart means to help others in love without expecting something in return, serving in appreciation of the gifts God has already given us.
Helper Divinely guided Opening my heart Aware of God’s calling Servant
In my Daily Word from Unity.org today, I was inspired by the message of “Guidance.” In it, the writer embraced serving, reminding us that as we prepare to do so, we need to listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within us.
“There are many ways of connecting with Spirit, but the first is by letting go. I must first release the situation I want guidance about.
With my human self out of the way, I stop my mind from trying to figure out the answer.
After letting go, I meditate, enjoy some devotional reading time, and become aware of God’s [presence]…”
Jesus was the consummate servant. His Holy Spirit puts in each of us a servant’s heart. Serving others is one of our main purposes in life!
“38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.
Pray With Me
“Heavenly Father, keep my focus on the one thing You have commanded: that I love others as You have loved me. Give me a servant’s heart that I may love in word and action” Amen
EMBRACE SERVING TODAY, MY FRIENDS. What will you do today to demonstrate your love in action?
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Living peacefully Brings out the best in others – Invites harmony.
Beautiful to see – Guys who live in harmony – Enjoy company.
The relationships Born of friendship and shared joy – Beautiful to see.
Beautiful to be Playing harmoniously – Embracing friendships.
As my outer world Reflects my inner spirit, Harmony abounds.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.
Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.
The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!
Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.
The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.
To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.
O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony. May our world embrace harmonious unity. Help us, God of Creation, to learn to follow Your commandments. There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully. Help us “Embrace Harmony” and spread its beauty to all we meet. Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy. Embrace us, O Lord, as these thoughts flower in our consciousness – and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life. Amen.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
May you feel the peace of harmony in your heart today.