Blog 1820 – 09.17.2020
Today is my last children’s book selection from the writer Stephen Cosgrove and illustrator Robin James. They co-created many other books that are available by searching the internet. I hope my small voice has helped to add followers to their fan base. I am so grateful that my David Reads Children’s Books project last year introduced me to this inspiring team and other writers and illustrators that I had not been acquainted with before.
There is in the New Testament the tender story of the good shepherd who leaves the ninety and nine sheep safely together to go out and search for the one lost lamb and happily returns rejoicing with it upon his shoulders. I confess I was a bit shocked at the explanation of the Old Testament Psalm phrase, “Blessed are the bones that Thou hast broken” that it was a shepherd’s custom with wayward lambs to break their legs and carry them on their shoulders till they healed and had bonded so closely that they would never stray far from the shepherd ever again.
I wrote yesterday and have several times before that I spent much of my youth and middle years studying the Bible and trying be a “good Christian.” I heard a wise old preacher say once that there is no adjectival modifier to the word Christian, that one just either is one or not. I confess and profess to you that I am not, nor ever desire to be called one again. If you happily are a Christian more power to you. I wish you well as I do my Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu friends and friends of all love-based religions. Do I discriminate among religious people? Yes, I confess I do. I prefer the loving and enlightened ones to the hateful and ignorant ones, but I still love even the erring ones.
There may indeed be no adjectival modifier to the name Christian or to the other religions I named above or the vast host of others that I did not name but still recognize as expressions of love and beliefs, yet there are many who still practice unbecoming religious behaviors. Even scientists are not always open to new theories and points of view nor always kind and loving in their treatment of their brother and sister scientists.
The great identifying badge that Jesus gave his disciples to recognize one another by and for others to recognize them was, “And they shall know that you are my disciples in that you have love for one another.” Isn’t that really how we, all of us, no matter our religious preference, always recognize a brother or a sister?
I do not aspire, any longer, to any group label nor any higher title than friend and brother. All hierarchical system’s fail the love test in one degree or another, in my estimation, making their followers into weighers of worth, always judging some lesser. In another of Jesus pointed lessons he told his followers the rule of how to treat anyone and everyone was simple – that what they did to or did not to his “lesser brethren” they did or did not to him. New flash Jesus never had nor has any lesser brothers or sisters. Jesus is for Christians the one true face of God, but I think he clearly taught that every face is the face of God especially our own when he gave his three in one commandment to love that superseded the ten No No’s and all the Law and the Prophets:
“Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Quit a simple formula really and very revealing of Who and Whose we truly are:
Love equals God
Love equals neighbor
Love equals self
All four being equally One and the same.
But then I am a simple minded guy.
Your friend, brother, and fellow traveler,
He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother