How do we identify ourselves? Is it by the association with a string of “Thou Shalt and Shalt-nots”? Is it as people who celebrate Christmas, St Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and “Good Friday”? Or, is it as a people who can have given to the world the most influential political and judicial systems? Indeed. We can justify these claims, and even more – the aggregate of these social systems. But, even together, they form only one aspect of our collective presence. There’s more.
I owe Christianity gratitude for the nurturing family of elders, siblings and other relatives. I owe the education system for the knowledge, skills and attributes that have helped me develop positive and constructive relationships within my self, with others and the rest of the world. I have been welcomed into a community that shares common values and beliefs. I am by definition happy. But, there’s more. I could not live on bread alone.
Christianity is not just another way of life. Were it so there could be some sense in challenging it as a threat or an alternative. To us it’s the essence and conduit to our life source – our alpha and omega. It makes us who we are. Our outward forms are just vestiges of how we wish to be seen by others in our social and cultural interactions. Some call them our false selves. It is, however, by relating to ourselves and others as branches of one vine that we realise that we are more than flesh, blood, and an assembly of gregarious entities. In transcending the visible we see a reason for our being (for everything). God gave us the power to name things, and we have given names to all of them. We can sense and experience birth, growth, pain, sorrow, joy, elation – the whole range in conditions and human emotions. And, we have named them well with the grace of God. Compassion and empathy with kindred souls are not just humane reactions, they are offerings to and in imitation of the One who is perfect in all respects. It’s through selfless acts and mindfulness of our Saviour’s grace and promises that we show our Christianity. One can ask no more