As we move into what is considered the Holiday Season, I ask you to deliberate the following...
Whether or not you believe in a Creator, I would hope you'd, at least, admit you are part of humanity, part of the All; likewise, a Co-Creator of what is developing...what will be.
And, whether you believe Jesus Christ was a divinity or just a man, I hope you'd admit his life has had a major impact on the world for the past two thousand years.
Why is that?
I believe it has to do with the unique message he brought to the known world at a time when the expansion of empires allowed it to be widely disseminated; a message that has been sublimated by the commercialism, now, plaguing this season.
The message is, actually, fairly simple and can be boiled down to a single word. I was made aware of this by a professor from Union Theological Seminary, who was a visiting lecturer at my college and spoke this quatrain...
Remember that Word...
The one from the manger...
It means simply this...
You can dance with a stranger.
That's it. And, contrary to what you might be thinking, the Word is not "Love." Not that there's anything wrong with Love. Quite the contrary. But, it's the second Word. You can't be fully loving until you live this Word...
The Word implies an acceptance of every gender, tribe, race or peoples. It embraces the principles that everyone is equal, that everyone is worthy, that everyone is deserving,
that everyone is invited, that no one is to be isolated, that even one's enemies can be brought into the universal fold with proper understanding and negotiation.
Honor can never be demanded by someone. It only works as a gift that is freely given. And, it starts with giving this gift to yourself; then, extending it to others.
How to act with others is one of the key tenets of religions, the word "religion" coming from the Latin
religio, which means "way of life."
However, if one's way of life is antithetical to the above principles of Honor, if it denies the equality of gender or if it condones killing one's daughter for loving an "other," refusing to shake a woman's hand or abusing children, then, to me, that way of life is perverse and its practitioners are unworthy of respect.
Yet, in calmer moments, I understand that, unlike those special people, who are able to forgive even killers of their loved ones, I, myself, still have a ways to go to become as compassionate.
So, my resolution for the new year is to try to move in that direction and I ask you, as a fellow Co-Creator, to contemplate your way of life and consider the possibility of joining with me in attempting to fully embrace this Word...and, if you would, do dance with a lot of strangers.