Our Father
By Halley Low

Malachi the prophet asks, “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another?” The earth is covered with many nations, speaking different tongues and following different customs; yet the truth remains that all are from the same Source, the same Life, the same creative Love. The prophet’s understanding of the universal fatherhood of God is echoed by the Apostle Paul when he wrote “There is one God and Father of all”. Can we conclude then that all these differences of appearance and style are a mere contrivance, an illusion borne of the pride of humankind and nurtured by our arrogance?

The fruits of the Father’s love are compassion, gentleness, joy, and self-control. These fruits are ripe and sweet and filled with the juice of life. To eat of these fruits is to be enriched with the goodness of God bringing peace and contentment to the soul. The fruits of human pride are division, greed, jealousy, and self-centeredness. The more we feed ourselves with these rotten fruits the more we inflate our ego and bring turmoil and discord to our soul and to our world. And so everywhere we look we see unhappiness and violence. This is not our birthright but our choice.

We teach our children not to fight, telling them that fighting does not bring peace or understanding. Meanwhile we wage wars to bring peace and understanding. Paradox or hypocrisy? We can justify our actions, but are the children dumb? They see our double standard, learning far more from our actions than our words, and thus wait their turn to justify their fighting.

And is it really a surprise to read about a 15 yr old child, depressed over the loss of his brother and living under constant social upheaval and economic stress, embracing a false notion of God’s Fatherhood and strapping a bomb to his side walks into a crowd of strangers, other selves who he has not been able to recognize because fear and anger have blinded him, and kills them and himself in the same moment I beg you, pray for the child who dies in the ignorance of what he believes to be his martyrdom, only to awaken and find his action a vanity and an abomination. May the Father of mercy have mercy on those who do not know what they do.

Jesus teaches us that if we are not at peace with our brother or sister that we must first go and make peace with them before we bring our gifts to our Father’s table. For how can we offer God a gift, a symbol of our love, if in our heart we hold resentment or hatred toward a fellow child of God? How empty indeed is such a gift, and what a lie to say to the Father whom we cannot see, “I love you”, yet lack charity for the brother we can see. This is as true for our corporate and national relationships as it is for our personal relationships. The time has come for us to not only teach peace but to live peace.

“Why do you pass judgment or despise your brother or sister? For we will all …be accountable to God…live peaceably with all…do not repay evil with evil…but overcome evil with good.”   -From Paul’s letter to the Romans

 

© 2004 Halley Low


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