I’ve embraced that breaking out in a cold sweat will be the new normal as I write this first post for the new year. After the title popped into my head I knew I needed to write before I lost my nerve. Here goes.
Every person on this earth is of consequence. Everyone. God’s plan for the world is weakened, altered whenever we lose sight of this most fundamental idea; we are in this together. How do I know this? Just read the Bible, actually most Holy Scriptures. Since I am a Christian, this is how I know this. In Jesus’ wheelhouse of people, he spent the majority of his time with the least desirable, most despised, greatest sinners…etc. He chose simple fishermen for his disciples, and often the oddest of people to dine with and talk to. His reach went beyond the limitations of class, ethnicity, religion and politics; everyone mattered. Everyone deserved to hear his message He especially avoided those who had held the prestige of class and distinction….because they had forgotten who God was, and how to build up His Kingdom.
I don’t think it is difficult to draw a parallel to modern culture. We have become as exclusive, judgmental, bigoted and narrow-minded as those who were threatened by Jesus in his day. We have forgotten who God is and how to build up His Kingdom. To twist the words of Jesus to exclude and redefine who is acceptable to God is nothing short of blasphemy. So don’t. God celebrates every one of us, he doesn’t make mistakes. I hope that isn’t a hard pill to swallow, because to each of you who really hates a section of the population for whatever reason…stop, because they are precious in God’s eyes.
Ouch, I know that can be harsh. So I have to see preciousness in the people who literally make my skin crawl? Yes. That doesn’t mean that we all go hug a random criminal or (insert name of the faction of the population you hate the most). So here is where I move beyond “of consequence” and on to consequences. Saying the phrase, “of consequence” and believing it is hard. Most people I know are insecure and struggle, in a variety of ways, with low self esteem…that includes those who appear über confident and present the illusion to the world that their shit doesn’t stink. It is what drives the angry divisive, bullying behavior of people today. Those who really believe they are precious, essential, loved and important just don’t behave that way. I also think it is why people refuse to accept responsibility for their own choices, and how that is manifested, I suppose, is different for each person. For example, I think the one of the reasons the Pharisees hated Jesus so much is that he took their power over the people away. If Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting so long for, they were no longer formidable. Their self-worth depended on knowing more, having more power, the exclusivity of being the God’s chosen people, rendering them more important that everyone else. Jesus virtually pulled the rug out from under their belief of who the Messiah would be, not a mighty King, but a loving servant. That could not have set well. They were precious in God’s eyes and yet there were dire consequences of what they did. How are we supposed to love that?
Being “of consequence” will never render the “consequences” of any our actions in the world null and void. We all live by the choices we make and often suffer the fallout of choices others make. We have to hold others accountable, but only in a way that offers the possibility of being “of consequence” again. I’m not naive, the world has some pretty evil stuff going on. But remember that we are not alone, God is truly with us and for us…all of us. And until we can believe that we are all precious in His sight, even though we all sin, we have to stop throwing stones, the kind that destroy and not build up. We have to stop blaming the government, the 1%, the poor, ethnicity, ideology… the list goes on and on. Jesus said, that whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me. Holding ourselves and others accountable while still seeing the worth in all sinners is how we grow and how we grow to understand God. I just want people to understand that the kind of choices we make change when we look in the mirror and believe that the person who is looking back matters, is important, and is an expression of God’s great creative mind. Because if you can’t see God’s creation when you look in the mirror, you won’t be able to see it in others either.