Go and Do Likewise…
Depression. Indifference. Impatience. Evil. War. Crisis. Conflict. Pain. Hurt. Confusion. Mistrust. Violence.
This, it seems, is the normal of human existence. Sometimes in an endless cycle. Parent begets child, fills said child with same set of problems which hobbled the parent. Repeat. And repeat.
There are a myriad of ways we are interconnected. Child becomes the parent, a sibling, a cousin, a neighbor, a friend, a coworker, and on and on. We each have our own sets of problems, from the physical to the spiritual. Each of these endless sets seem to interact in an infinite loop of careening collisions with those we are close to, to those we meet just once in a lifetime. Some interactions leave a lasting impression, others barely make it to the level of active observation. What may have been a lasting impression to one person in the interaction will be forgotten by the other in a few minutes or hours.
Never mind the horrors which humans inflict upon each other. From Chattel Slavery to the Holocaust, to the Starvation of Ukraine, to the killing fields of Cambodia, to the forced abortions of China, the brutality of places like North Korea, to the continuance of kill at will abortion around the world. People whipped and beaten, innocent pre-born children crushed and torn to pieces, to humans reduced to stick like walking skeletons. cannibalism of the young, and on and on and on…
The ancient world held the same problems. We have only “improved” the efficiency using mechanization and there just plan being more of us around. It was into this dark and odious world that our Saviour came.
A God. An all powerful, infinite being ducked under the door of our universe and entered it as a human child, the most helpless of creatures: a baby. What did this God-man do?
He showed grace to us. He showed us mercy.
He did not raise an army. He raised disciples. He did not destroy the king. He taught all about the true King.
He continually modeled grace. In a variety of situations and places. When he was tired to when he was emotionally distraught. Across a range of human emotions, the tears at the tomb of Lazarus, the glory of the mount of Transfiguration to the despair of the cross: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?””My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Again and again he showed us the proper response. Grace giving truth in love. Every action taken in Love. Every work spoken, in love.
Not a sappy, gooey childlike view of love. Nor our modern sex-laden deformation of the word.
Kind. Humble. Honest. Patient. Peaceable. Gentle. Self Controlled. Joyful. Faithful. Lovingly. Mercifully.
The response from heaven to our predicament was things that appear weak in the world. Grace from the King of Heaven. Mercy from The Judge of all Things.
He offers each of us reconciliation with the God of All. Repair of a broken relationship. In His workings to repair that relationship we learn to repair all the others. Extending grace and mercy to those close to us and those far off. It’s not easy. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Every day we each must go back to our master, to receive Grace and Mercy anew from Him to be able to grant it to others. An endless flow of grace and mercy. Of Patience. With my spouse. With my children. To my own parents. To my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. To the neighbor. To my coworkers. To my friends who do not yet know the Lord. Of kindness to all of these as well. And Honesty. And Humbly, peacefully, gently, self controlled, joyfully, faithfully and lovingly. In an endless cycle, interacting and repeating.
“Go, and do likewise”