This familiar Indian greeting is a Sanskrit (ancient language of Hindu scriptures) word that means "I bow to you." In the Hindu religion, it reflects the belief that the divine and self are the same in all of us. It means that "the divine in me bows to the divine in you." Or, as someone has rephrased it for Christ-followers, "The Christ in me sees the Christ in you."
Love that. We recognize the divine when we see it.
Want to have a better, more fulfilling life? Practice recognizing the divine in others (resist reading into this). We are all made in God's image. Right?
What if, every day, we intentionally reminded ourselves that the Christ in me BOWS to the Christ in you?! What if, every day, we consciously remind ourselves, in total humility of spirit, to humbly yield to the other person? We recognize that the other person was also made in God's image (you'll have to take that up with God) and treat them as though they were Jesus.
Mother Theresa repeatedly made it a point to nurture this type of thinking.
Paul pleaded for harmony. Re-read the book of Romans, Philippians, and Corinthians. You get the idea.
Paul said, "in humility, value others above yourself.” I'm pretty sure that means people who look, smell, and believe like me-- and those at the opposite end of the spectrum. Respecting others.
It would certainly make for a dull election cycle and gentler debates on all topics-- without dampening our convictions. People might notice and want to know our Jesus a little more. By all means, let's make it a point to do this when we gather with the fam over the next several days!
Much of the world physically bows to each other, if ever-so-slightly. It is an act of honor and humility. I bet it keeps them supple—at least that's the goal.
Namaste, my friends. Namaste. In humility, we bow before each other, recognizing the divine spark in others—for the honor of the Divine One. So, Merry Christmas as we bow to the ONE who came to show us a better way.
BONUS QUOTE from Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "He comes in the form of the beggar, of the dissolute human child in ragged clothes, asking for help. He confronts you in every person that you meet. As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor…"