“Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” -Coretta Scott King
One of the most well-known passages from the Gospels is John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.” (CEB) While people typically focus on the “everyone who believes” and “eternal life” parts, it’s the first five words that matter most to me. “God so loved the world.” As in, all of creation. Everybody, and everything.
The above quote from Coretta Scott King speaks on a lot of different levels. If you take “political” to mean the inter-working of individuals within any human organization, we see certain groups neglected or even shut out for the benefit of others in many institutions – schools, community groups, corporations, and yes, churches. It also plays out on the international stage when we “take the fight over there so it won’t happen here,” or hold fast to the notion that “charity begins at home.”
It’s our human nature to seek self-preservation, to look out for those closest to us, to hold something back just in case. It’s a primal instinct that we need to survive. That’s why it’s so significant that God’s grace works within us. While our human nature seeks survival, our divinely-created humanity seeks love. Divine Love leads us to see beyond ourselves, beyond our families, beyond our social groups and institutions. Divine Love enables us to see not with our own eyes, but as God sees.
When Divine Love is at work in us we can accept nothing less than justice, freedom, and peace for all people. When Divine Love is at work in us we willingly sacrifice our own personal well-being, against our human nature and its survival instincts, for the well-being of all people, because God so loved the world. As in, all of creation. Everybody, and everything.
Peace for the journey,