Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The Year of our Lord 2020 has been a hard one. From political divisions to global pandemic to racial injustice to protests and riots, plus sprinkle in the election, hurricane season and a summer without baseball, this year has been one to remember and forget. Our nation has endured hardship and anxiety in ways both deeply personal and widespread across every segment of society. No one is to blame for illness or the weather, but how we choose to respond to hardship and how we treat one another goes a long way toward determining the condition of our world. Which is why Jesus summed up God’s moral wisdom in the Golden Rule.
If we would but treat people of another race the way we want them to treat us, most racial injustice would be eliminated. If we would wear a face mask and wash our hands as often as we hope others do, the spread of disease would be greatly reduced. If we would speak of political adversaries the way we wish they would speak of us, there would be significantly less hostility in our culture. If we would tell the truth, plainly and simply, the way we would like others to, we could start believing more of what we hear.
At the same time, if we all listened to and obeyed Jesus, we would treat other people more like the way God treats us, with generosity, kindness and mercy. We would give good gifts to our children and to people in need. We would ask for help when we need it and trust that people would be kind to us. Jesus gave us a glimpse into how it could be, how it should be in our broken world, and that glimpse of a better humanity is really a reflection of God, the Giver of good gifts. May we follow Jesus as best and as often as we can, and pray that others will join us in faith and righteousness.
Thank You, Jesus, for speaking wisdom into my heart. Teach me to treat others with love and kindness just as I pray they will act toward me. Heal Your world and bring us peace, through Your mighty name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian