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Jan Paron/June 7, 2012

OK, more than ten quotes. I couldn’t narrow it down to less. Before starting a discussion on intentional actions on living in brotherhood, I posted different streams of thoughts on the subject.

1. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment” (Matt 22:37-38 KJV).

“The religion of Jesus, makes the love-ethic central. This is no ordinary achievement. It seems clear that Jesus started out with the simple teaching concerning love embodied in the timeless words of Israel. ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might’” (Deut 6:4-5; Thurman, 1949).

2. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt 22:39b; Luke 10:27).

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we’re together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please,
Won’t you please?
Please won’t you be my neighbor?” (Rogers, 1967).

3. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

“Reconciliation across racial, cultural and economic barriers is not an optional aspect of the gospel. I need you and you need me, and we need each other. God commands us to love and forgive one another. Our love for one another demonstrates to the world that we indeed are Jesus’ disciples” (Perkins, 1982).

4. “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29).

“My focus is on the question, ‘who is my neighbor?’ It’s an important question, one that has weighed heavily on my mind for years. I am convinced that if we attempt to answer this question only from the vantage point of our own predominant cultural experience, we will miss its many implications for how we should live our lives as Christians” (Gordon, 2010).

“Every man is potentially every other man’s neighbor. Neighborliness is nonspatial; it is qualitative. A man must love his neighbor directly, clearly, permitting no barriers in between” (Thurman, 1949).

5. “Honor all people”(1 Pet 2:17a NKJV).

“Brotherhood is the condition of universal kinship” (Carpenter, 1899).

“UNIVERSAL KINSHIP–the concept that we belong to one human family–is the core of Christianity and the major religions. When Jesus proclaimed “Our Father” at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, he was affirming that people are spiritually one family” (Borda, 2007).

“The duty one owes to “all [fellow] humans” is that of “honor,” a statement that is further underscored by its religious motivation: “for the Lord’s [Creator’s] sake.” Basic then to 1 Peter’s social thought is the claim, and the consequences thereof, that all human creatures are owed honor” (Richard, 2004).

6. “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:”(1 Pet 3:8 KJV).

compassionred

(Joel Filártiga from Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life)

“Compassion may very well be the key to our recognizing those who suffer as our brothers and our sisters.  The problem is that compassion is not a virtue of the mind but a virtue of the heart. We are good at what we think and comprehend intellectually but are not as good with matters of the heart” (Isasi-Diaz, M, 2010).

“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human” (Nouwen, 2005).

7.  “Live in peace” (2 Cor 13:11b).

“There is a remarkable image in the closing pages of Scripture that has become a touchstone for the way my colleagues and I think about faith and culture. Amid its descriptions of the New Jerusalem, Revelation includes “the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). The tree holds out hope that whole cultures will be healed and mended, becoming places where people can flourish. And it sets an agenda for faith as a way of life…” (Volf, 2006).

8. “Use hospitality one to another without grudging” (1 Pet 4:9).

Over and over again, I come to see in God’s remarkable economy, as we make room for hospitality, more room becomes available to us for life, hope and grace (Pohl, 1999).

9. “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet 2:12 NKJV).

“I fear the Jesus that we reveal today is a Jesus who functions as a distant consultant, to self-sufficient religious people. The Jesus our friends sees helps us be faithful in our quiet times, helps us not swear when we get frustrated, and helps us not cheat on our taxes or tests. But they hardly ever see the Jesus who understands sexual addiction. They never get to see a glimpse of the Jesus who isn’t afraid of eating disorders, violence, bitterness, broken families or any other manner of sin we find ourselves under. They just can’t imagine a Jesus who gets involved with messy, needy sinners” And, “God’s love launches our witness. We are designed to be evangelists first filled with the living water and who then offer that living water to others” (Teter, 2003).

10. “Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8a KJV).

“’If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question, ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’ That’s the question before you tonight. Not, ‘If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?’ The question is not, ‘If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?’ ‘If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?’ That is the question. So, let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be” (King, 1968).

To Ponder…

Do one of the quotes on brotherhood stand out to you with significance?  Please share your thoughts on it.

References:

  • Bordas, J. (2012). Salsa, soul and spirit: Leadership for a multicultural age. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Carpenter, C.  (1899). Brotherhood: A living power in the life of humanity. Retrieved on June 7, 2012, from http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/ubv14n06p294_brotherhood_a-living-power.htm
  • Gordon, W. (2010). Who is my neighbor? Lessons learned from a man left dead. Ventura, CA: Regal.
  • Isasi-Diaz, A. (2010, Spring). Am I my brother’s and sister’s keeper? Apuntes, 1, 30.
  • King, M. (1968). I’ve been to the mountaintop. Memphis, TN: Mason Temple.
  • Nouwen, H., Mcneill, P., & Morrison, D. (2005). Compassion: A reflection on the Christian life. New York, NY: Doubleday.
  • Perkins, J. (1882). With Justice for All: A Strategy for Community Development. Ventura, CA: Regal.
  • Pohl, (1999). Making room: Recovering hospitality as a Christian tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Richard, E. (2004, Spring). Honorable conduct among the Gentiles: A study of the social thought of 1 Peter. Word and World, 24 (4), 412-420.
  • Rogers, F., 1967, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Retrieved on June 7, 2012, from http://pbskids.org/rogers/songLyricsWontYouBeMyNeighbor.html
  • Teter, J. (2003). Get the word out: How God shapes and sends His witnesses. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Volf, M. (2006, October). The Churches great malfunctions. Christianity Today. Retrieved on June 7, 2012, from http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/october/52.108.html