In the Pastor’s funeral meditation for a superb man whose funeral I attended recently, was a description of Heaven. I don’t know whether or not the Pastor literally believed his own words, or was simply being poetic in the hopes that they would be comforting to all the mourners.
The more years I study the Bible, and particularly John and Paul, the more clear it becomes to me that Jesus, His message and His Mind came at an intellectual “cusp” of human faith. Jesus saw that He was living in a time when something more than pure animal existence could be the lot of humans.
Jesus’ message was so radical: that life could be lived in an abundance of joy; that simple daily drudgery was not enough. That getting the upper hand over one’s rivals was not enough; that family is not simply those who are “kin” by blood. Rather, he called us His “brothers;” He called us his “friends.”
As Paul began to unwind this, he saw that God’s children and our “brothers” are not limited by being: “Jew nor Greek,” slave or free, natives or foreigners.
The older I get, the more comfortable I am with Catholics or Jews; Liberals or conservatives, Orientals, Latinos, or whatever. WHO we are as persons is far more important than is our ancestry. A couple of my fellow Rotarians are Muslims. It would be an obscenity to even let the question of Radical Islamists cross our minds when thinking of these me. Just about every group has its “lunatic fringe.” These people comprise a tiny percentage.
The essence of the meaning of the story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection is to convey in dramatic form God’s love for each of us. That which is Godly is that which is of peace and love, of justice and brotherhood, of good will and generosity. It is about the indestructible nature of God, and the very essence of God’s outreach to all people.
Let it never die in your mind: “I am come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” “I am the way the truth and the life.” “Greater love hath no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friend, and I have called you my friends.” “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
“Go into all the world and proclaim the good news!”