Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter


Easter is a time for joy and celebration. We put on our Sunday best, go to church, and then have a big celebratory meal. Children have Easter egg hunts and baskets filled with candies. Adults revel in the joy the children feel much akin to the same feeling as watching them open gifts at Christmas.

Joy over-washes the somber tones of Easter, reminding us that in spite of all that Christ suffered at our very hands He still loves us enough to forgive us ALL our sins and grant us a seat at His table in Heaven. To me, Easter is both a time to reflect on how extreme God's love is for us that He would send His only begotten son to suffer and die at our hands, and then continue to show us love and compassion in spite of our outrageous sins against Him.

Christ came back to give us the message that no sin is too great to be forgiven, not even killing the son of God. The example He chose and lived out had to be this extreme in order for us to see clearly that there are no exceptions to His grace, it is all encompassing. No human action is worthy of God's grace, so it is given freely.

He is alive in all of us who believe in His ways, and it is up to us to bring His light into the lives of others who may not have seen it, or have forgotten through the turmoil of their own life's ups and downs. Let us go forward together ever mindful that we are all brothers and sisters of the same family, remembering to first give glory to He who gave us life, then honoring our neighbors in a way that brings Him the glory He deserves.

Do not let anyone throw a stumbling block in your way when trying reach out to your neighbors. Do not let color, creed, nationality create fear that stands in the way of seeing who someone is on the inside. Our Muslim neighbors have the same need of friendship and love as we do. So it is the same for those who are trying to get into our country and are denied legal entrance on the basis of their birthplace. It is our call as Christians to be the guiding light for others to see hope, love, unity, joy, peace, and want it for themselves. We cannot be that light while we remain mired and divided in the trivialities of what is unforgivable to Christ.

Those of you who believe that God calls us to be good neighbors, be the light of Christ, live what you wish to see in others. Let us remember to continue trying to take the higher ground when ever we can and earn back this country's reputation of being God's country, "United We Stand" as one under Him.

Written on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty itself I find words to remember always:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" ~Emma Lazarus

3 comments:

Fannie said...

Well said, John. Even though I am not Christian, there are messages in your post that can help all of us be better people.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Thank you Fannie. It is my opinion that people of faith can live in peace with their neighbors, elevating the common greater good without having to be the same religion.

Our common goals are to have safety for ourselves and our loved ones, and the freedom to live by our own terms so long as those terms are do not infringe upon the rights of others. Where the opposition to GLBT equality fails is in their ability to prove their accusations. Those who live by faith should recognize the mistruths spoken against the GLBT and stand up in protest on principle alone.

The truth after all is most important if we are to live on ethical grounds as true equals.

John said...

"Those who live by faith should recognize the mistruths spoken against the GLBT and stand up in protest on principle alone."

This is the biggest part of the equation for me.

I spend a lot of time (too much) reading the opposition websites and nothing troubles me more than to see them lie.

Not just ignorance, willful or not, but the total embrace of bald faced lies.