The Compassion of Christ: Saints in Paradise
- Date: June 14, 2020
- Categories:C.A.R Sermon Series,Featured Message
Too many of us have gone deaf to the calls of Liberation by those who we share 99.9 percent of our DNA with.
John 15: 13-15 Collective Edition (CE)
13 There is no greater love than to give up one's life for the life of another. 14 We are all called to awaken the Christ in us, through the commandments of the One. 15. We do not live in darkness any longer, for we are now meant to shine the light of the One who came to open our minds, ears, and mouths towards the realization of the collective embodiment of love for all of Humanity.
We have lost sight of our shared humanity.
As a society, as a nation, as a people, we have lost sight of one another. We have forgotten our shared humanity and have allowed for the worst parts of the human condition to take hold inside of us and give voice to our fears, anger, regrets, and generational traumas.
At times, these voices come out as loudly as possible, taking the form of us tapping that shared button on our social media platforms. And so, we share the memes and the articles that seem to align remarkably so well to our own worldview, which means that they must be true.
After all, the person on the other side of that social media interaction, would never share something untrue. I mean, my Tia Karen is a Doctor, who goes to church twice a week and loves Jesus. So, if Tia Karen is sharing a post that lists all of the offenses that George Floyd had done before he was killed in the streets, then Tia Karen must be on to something.
Yet, in reality, the logical conclusion is that in Tia Karen sharing a list of offenses and not saying that what happened to Floyd is unjust, amounts to her posting the opinion, that because someone has a less than perfect past, they deserve to die in plain daylight, surrounded by spectators at the hands of those who are meant to protect and serve the people. It is as if Tia Karen has embraced the age-old practice of killing, as a spectator sport like in the Roman arenas of the past. Making Tia Karen a spectator supporting the state murders of people who are forever branded as criminals or thugs by the state.
But then as you hit share and the post ends up on your social media wall, you begin to ask yourself, even with that list of offenses, which do not have any links to verify them as true—does that mean that Floyd deserved to die? Does anyone ever deserve to die as so many early Christian did, martyrs in those Roman stadiums, becoming entertainment for the state of long ago? If that is the case, why then is Tia Karen sharing these posts and memes on her wall when she knows that so many people respect her opinions?
Do unto others what you would like to be done to you.
When I was young, I was taught a fundamental lesson. Treat everyone that you meet with respect, humility, and a mutual sense of compassion. In any situation, regardless if it is negative or positive, put yourself in the shoes of others, so that your response can be tailored to their own lived realities. This means that I was to embrace the totality of whoever it was that I had a relationship with so that in doing so, I could attempt to recognize the reasons behind their behavior, allowing grace and compassion to freely flow between one another. For if one acknowledges the complexities behind the actions of others, we are better able to peak into the core of who they are, and by doing so, can encounter the Christ, the authentic self of one another.
This is the lesson that is behind the Golden Rule that so many of us have heard and have learned in one variation or another. A rule that is Universal as it is found in the teachings of most of the faith traditions in our world. And this is a rule that calls us towards moments of self-introspection so that we can understand how we would like to be loved and how we would like to be treated, in order to realize our own self-worth.
For in realizing how we would like to be loved, we can then love others in the same manner. So many of us are hungry for grace to come down from heaven and liberate us from our past and from the many nightmares of our worst regrets. So many of us just want to be loved unconditionally and celebrated for our accomplishments and for the many gifts that we bring to the table. So many of us are scared of vulnerability because we have been hurt before and know that we will be hurt again. So many of us just want to be happy in the period of time that we exist as matter, living fulfilled lives surrounded by those who love and embrace us.
Yet, even though we all want these things, our reality has been one that has tainted our authentic selves through the traumas passed on to us by our parents, our families, and by society itself. For many of us, every negative action done towards us darkens the light inside of us, setting us up for a life that embraces the sins and the traumas of generations before us. This then becomes the template of how we are to be with one another. And there begins our entanglement with our own self-destructive loops, which operate as our internal demons, separating us from our authentic self and diminishing the love that we know that we deserve.
But this is not the only template that exists for humanity. For us in this beloved community, we have a model for the evolution of humanity based on love, hope, joy, and compassion towards one another. And that template is the Christ revealed to us in the human named Jesus, an idea that exists inside us all. Therefore, Christ is the template for evolving humanity, why can't we live up to that idea?
The First Century World of Jesus
The first-century world of Jesus was different from our own world, only because we are separated by almost 2000 years of history. Yet, the world that we live in today is one that is less than 100 years old. 2000 years ago, the world of Jesus was one that was controlled by the few on the backs of the many. Power, economics, and prestige were held by those whose only difference from everyone else in the empire was birth, location, family, and ability to embrace violence and evil. Those not born into this world lived and died as figurative and, at times, literal slaves to the systems of control and power that pinned the few against the many and defended that order through politics, religiosity, and violence. Cesar was born of the gods, and the aristocracy, landowners, military, and religious elites were blessed to be in service to that god on Earth. Yet, for Jesus, this was not the reality that was revealed to him.
Compassion is the first step towards Liberation.
In that first-century world, as it is in our own world, Jesus embraced compassion as the first step towards Liberation, and that compassion starts within us. The Gospels are filled with moments that Jesus looks out into the crowd and is moved towards loving action by compassion. For Jesus, as the embodiment of Christ, understood that the only way for us to truly love others is to first love ourselves through compassion and grace. Therefore, Jesus challenges us to die to ourselves, to shed ourselves of the things that keep us trapped in the self-destructive loops that come from the actions made on us by others.
No one is born evil, racist, angry, hateful, or power-hungry. These are all traits that are passed down to us, by our parents or caretakers’ inability, to free themselves from their own hurts and pains and from the generational traumas of their parents, and their parents, parents. This is the reason that Jesus speaks of dismantling toxic family structure as a step towards self-liberation, for we have to die to everything that we have known to become born-again into a new life by the awakening of the Christ inside us all. And that awakening starts with compassion for all of humanity, regardless of what self-destructive loop they are being motivated by.
Rediscovering Our Shared Humanity
Therefore, in the same way that Jesus was moved by compassion towards actions for Liberation, we must also be driven by compassion towards a collective effort for that same goal. When it comes to today's reality, we have become blind to the fact that we are no longer living in the same world as 2000 years ago, even though the classical power structures still operating in our time wish to keep us there.
Because of our technological and scientific advancements, our world is less than 100 years old. Let us remember that what we know today of humanity. Our ability to map our Human DNA has shown us that under all social labels that are used to separate us from one another, we are all almost identical when it comes to our genetic makeup. We all come from a primordial Adam and Eve, which makes every single one of us siblings to one another. Some of us even have DNA from other human species, such as the Neanderthals from prehistoric Europe.
Our world today is a construct of the world of Rome and the worlds of Empires before Rome that continue to rule under the misguided perceptions, that the few deserve power over the many. A power that comes from violence and generation enslavement of people's hearts and minds towards that broken and antiquated system.
Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that historically there have been many attempts to unbend that system and for us today Jesus was one of those moments. Jesus embraced a counter reality that called the weak strong, and the poor righteous. In doing so, he turned that first-century world on its head. He captivated people's hearts and minds on all sides of society, not just the poor but also the rich, not just the oppressed but also those with prestige and power.
Jesus bridges that divide not through violence but through love realized through compassion. For Jesus knew, that like many of us today, most people do not exist in the polar opposite of any conflict, even though our society wants to make us believe that lie. Most of us are in the spectrum of those two sides, which is informed by our own experiences and feelings.
Those who live in paradise, at times have a hard time embracing the lived realities of others. Yet compassion can allow those who live in paradise to embrace the plight of those oppressed by their comforts and ignorance. Becoming aware that those who have repeatedly been struck down by systemic oppression, protest not because they wish to bring about anarchy, but because they feel that at their core their humanity is not being honored. Their internal Christ is being strangled to death in the streets. And all of us exist somewhere in this spectrum. So why not then reject both sides of that ideological binary and embrace compassion through authentic dialogue and mutual understanding?
They Don’t Need Saints
Too many of us have gone deaf to the calls of Liberation by those who we share 99.9 percent of our DNA with. Too many of us have gone mute to the violence and aggression that exists against those who our society has made "less-than" human. We understand that fear, pride, and our own traumas are responsible for our inactions. We realize that we are just cogs that are caught in our own self-destructive loops. Yet, at the core of our humanity, we have recognized the liberating power of Christ, reflected in that first-century human named Jesus, who calls us to disrupt the undisrupted, through compassion and love.
It is easy to be a saint in paradise. Still, those who are hurting, those who have been killed by the ones who took an oath to protect them, those who have been labeled "terrorists" by the words of our leaders, those who have been touched by generational traumas of violence and terror, they do not live in paradise. And those who are oppressed by antiquated social contracts do not need saints. They need you and me to reflect the Christ that is present in our divine cores. To reflect compassion and grace outward in order to collectively break the chains of their oppression, and by doing so, break away from our own self-destructive loops.
For once we begin to love others, how can we then hate them. And in order to authentically love others, we must be willing to shed ourselves of all the junk that separates us from the reality that inside every single one of us is God. For we are all connected to one another and are made from the same stardust as all of Creation and of the Universe itself.
So, say we all. Amen.
By: The Collective Awakening & No Reservations Group