The Ties That Bind
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die, so, let us all be thankful.
Don’t you just find it interesting when the moment the truth of something seems to just jump up at you? Especially when the wisdom of it is undeniable, like something that seems to transcend even the ages? These are the times when we realize there is no escaping the fact that EVERYTHING is connected! Consider that the creation of our world occurred as a divinely wrought web of power, and I dare you to think that we as humans are merely a coincidence of matter molded into the beings we now see when we look in the mirror. That we exist at all is because of an intricately woven co-existence. Remove plant life and all animals cease to exist. Remove all animal life, and humans would cease to exist….at least in the way our biology is programmed in terms of both our physiology as well as our emotions. And finally, remove the essential elements of air and water, and ALL life ceases to exist! Which is why I am amazed that we can not find it within our humanity not to see the connectedness that exists in FAITH, as a whole dynamic!
All religions want the same thing:
1) To find peace in our time. 2) To create joy in living. 3) To be thankful.
And since, in reality, we all communicate with the same God, simply given a different title and worship form, the fact that conflicts continue to exist over this basic fundamental is astounding. I don’t care which one you choose to examine, but just look at what the tenets hold to be absolute: Be filled with the spirit and go forth and share the message with others! So why create a world of conflict, when we can sow peace? Why continue through your days with anger in your heart when to be filled with the song of joy is a much sweeter one to sing? Why bemoan your lot in life when to share a thankful heart feels so good? Why see only darkness in others when to see in light shows an entirely new visage of their face?
Sound familiar? It should, because they are things shared with man by far greater minds than mine! You see, these things incorporate lessons preached by three of the greatest minds of faith that have ever existed. The first is our Lord and the message He preached in what we have come to know as “The Sermon on the Mount”:
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The second is the prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), and is also called the “Peace Prayer”. The prayer has many of the biblical truths of what it means to be a Christian, especially to seek to give to others, and by so doing, to receive the blessings of the Almighty, in return.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Make us worthy Lord to serve our fellow men throughout the world, who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread and by our understanding love give peace and joy.
- Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.
That where there is hatred I may bring love,
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony,
That where there is error I may bring truth,
That where there is doubt I may bring faith,
That where there is despair I may bring hope,
That where there are shadows I may bring light,
That where there is sadness I may bring joy.
- Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted,
To understand than to be understood,
To love than to be loved.
For it is by forgetting self that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven, it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.
Three great minds. One united vision. Almost 2000 years separating the three. So, when will we hear the message? And even more importantly, WILL we hear the message? My lifetime? Yours? Our children’s? Before we see to it that we self destruct, and annihilate all traces of our humanity?
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 KJV
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