May 14, 2009

1 = 1

I had the chance to grab some coffee with a friend of mine that I have not talked to in at least 4yrs. In that time he has finished 2 tours of duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan and nearly squeezed in a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with a double minor of History and Christian Mission in between. Needless to say it was great to see him, let alone get a chance to hear stories of what his faith looked like while serving in a foreign land. He talked of his genuine concern for the Afghan people and desire to see them live in peace yet contrasted that with the attitude some have that American lives were somehow more important than those of the locals. It was evident from hearing him talk that this caused him a certain amount of stress as someone that is trying to follow Jesus.

Immediately things come to mind like, "For God does not show favoritism." (Rom. 2:11) or "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44) and "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant to all." (Mark 9:35). It seems as though the message we should be getting from Scripture is one of equality. We have all equally sinned, all of which Christ was willing to die for equally. It is not as though Jesus was picking and choosing who He deemed "worthy" of His sacrifice and redemption because if that were the case then none of us would make the cut. So then it would seem, at least to me, that there is an innate equality amongst all of humanity regardless of culture, language, or skin color that would say 1 life is = to another life.

So, as followers of Jesus, the question we must ask ourselves is if we actually live this way? Do you and I walk around day after day seeing each and every person we come in contact with (or our "neighbor" as Jesus would say) as equal to ourselves? Can we honestly say they have worth that is equal to or even greater than the worth we see in ourselves? I believe that until we are able to start living this the Church will continue its struggle for relevancy in today's culture.