I am celebrating the Fourth this year while in London. I’ve been away from the US a number of times on the Fourth of July, and I am always struck by the influence our independence and love of freedom has made on the rest of the world.
This year, however, I think it is a good day to ponder how we are now squandering the sacrifices of so many who gave their all that we could be an example of all that is good and right. I truly love my country. Yet, I have never feared for her as I do today. We stand by in abject silence as the true values of our great nation are being extinguished one by one.
I believe the entire universe was created for our joy. Yet, most of us live lives of fear and insecurity, preferring the cramped confines of our little boxes to the freedom of the unknown.
Life in all its fullness will never be found in a box. Only when we have the courage and the audacity to escape the rigid prisons of our own design will we finally experience the glorious freedom for which we were created.
The path to true joy follows the edge. And that path can never be found while in the false comfort of a box, even one made of gold. Jump out of your boxes and into a creation waiting to grant you “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” You won’t regret it.
Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
These wise words from the founder of the Methodist movement are perfect for the way I feel this morning. Each of us have our own thoughts and opinions about the outcome of the Presidential election. And none of us have the right to condemn someone for not agreeing with us.
The will of the majority has been made known. Now it is time for all of us to do our best to support the new President in every possible way. Time will show whose opinions about the choice of our leader was more correct.
As Wesley stated, everyone of us must give an account of themselves to God. Until then, I will pray for our new leaders, pray for the safety of our nation and our planet, and pray for all those that might not agree with opinions.
Christ didn’t say, “Love humanity as thyself,” but “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and do you know why? Because your neighbor, by definition, is the person nearby, the man sitting next to you on the underground who smells, perhaps; the man next to you in the queue who maybe tries to barge ahead of you; in short, your neighbor is the person who threatens your own liberty. – Luciano De Crescenzo
Loving humanity is easy. The more we narrow our focus, however, the more difficult it becomes.
De Crescenzo has captured the essence of why the words of Jesus are such a challenge to us. As a close friend of mine used to say, “I love humanity. It’s the damned people I cannot bear.”
And I have often said that it is far easier to feed a thousand hungry people than it is to feed just one. Even though it sounds counter-intuitive it’s true.
Feeding a thousand who are starving is about logistics. Feeding one person who is poor and hungry is about a relationship.
Christ calls us to love one another even as He loves us. He calls us to be neighbors to those in need. He calls us to build relationships.
In the end, that’s how we will eliminate the scourge of hunger; not by feeding thousands and millions in grand relief schemes, but by loving one another, even as we have been loved.