Rather riveting to say the least … seeing this talk I wept for the young men I met in January and ANZAC Day who the reality of brotherhood means so much! To see their pain and their hurt and a society that is incapable of understanding their part in this. Soldiers who have served our nation well, given their all, as soldiers do, then they are attributed or blame with the notion it is they who are at fault. Yes, how can any sane person remain normal after the atrocities they witness or are involved in. Yes, they have not coped. My contention is society does not have the necessary supportive relationships for them to re-enter.
I was enthralled by this … I understood this all too well from the Vietnam era and blokes who came back from that.
However, this is where the what is called church these days suffers from the same dysfunction. Just as the soldiers experience anomie, loneliness, disconnection and a lack of intimacy when they return so does in a very small way,the super-committed volunteer in religious organisations. In reality, the central manifestation and life of the Living Church is a ‘brotherhood’ so profound, so invasive that few there be who want to enter into relationships so costly, even for their blood family. The ‘Jesus’ community who love as their Jesus loved is near non-existent … most believers are missing in action!!!! I am always blessed to hear of the extraordinary, magnificent exploits of the few who lavish themselves on others in the name of Christ. Many give their self to religious activity to achieve the ends of the religious organisation to maintain the on-going nature of pastor, building, programmes and religious events. However that was not the message of Jesus. His message and direction was for us to love abundantly, magnificently, extraordinary and extensively. Building kingdoms and empires with clergy sitting on the pile at the top does not chieve love and brotherhood as characterised in this TED Talk. Let us lay our lives down for each other, give ourselves for the well-being of each other … something unexpected may just happen :-).
Years ago I read the writings of Pliny the Younger. In particular one letter he wrote to the Roman Emperor Trajan (117AD) where he spoke about Christians in the Roman Province of Bithynia where he was governor. He tortured, executed, imprisoned and enslaved believers in the new religion Chrestus (Christ); adults, children, young, old, free, slaves whoever. Pliny made some astounding statements about these believers e.g. they treated each other as family, they didn’t treat their possessions as their own but gave to each other, they refused to recant even to death, a few did recant but by far the majority didn’t. Pliny noted their brotherhood, their behaviour … their love for one another astounded him. He said he even went as far to encourage the religions (the approved religions rather than these atheists [Christians] who didn’t believe in the pagan gods) to love like Christians. They didn’t, they couldn’t or wouldn’t. Hhhhmm! Now there is a benchmark! Love is not a should a must or an ought but something that flows from a relationship with the One who is love.
They had something that most modern Christians don’t have.
Why does the world understand this and His people don’t! This is a turf that sounds so familiar … to love so completely to be prepared to die for one another. Christians are not only the less without a genuine giving affection,there is nothing to say or give until we do!
A superficial response to the Love of Christ is to continue doing what is always done expecting a different result … Einstein called that insanity.
What an opportunity to bless young men and women with a God who loves and cares for the every aspect of their life.
The brotherhood these young men experienced in war to lay their life down for the benefit and well being of the other … no holds barred, with no restraint is a possibility because the One who is such love abides in us.
I ask for your grace to allow my passion and indulgence … I want to see more love in our relationships and this world with open hearted embracing of each other …