Hi everyone. Rob here.
I watched a documentary last night that was looking into the different ways that countries approach some issues and the positive results that have resulted. For example, Italy grants at least 6 weeks leave through the year, and this creates happier, healthier, more productive workers. France feeds their children healthy, nutritious and delicious meals for school lunches, showing them the value of healthy eating, and good table etiquette. Finland has an education system that is more about training the brain than sitting tests and it works. Iceland requires near equal numbers of men and women in the boardroom and this leads to saner decision making. More examples covered prisons being used for true rehabilitation and reform, not just as a punitive way to punish; new approaches to drug laws, women’s health, facing the nations past sins in a healthy way, protecting the workers time from demanding bosses and the value of free education. It was eye opening, but at the heart of all these policy initiative lay a common philosophy; care for each other because every human being matters.
When we embrace this biblical notion of every person being made in God’s image it affects both personal and public ways of being. It doesn’t lead to perfection, but it does lead to a deeper engagement with how our actions affect others. What became clear in the documentary is that as you treat others in a way that honours their humanity, then they become more honouring of others also. This has a profound effect in prisons, schools, as a way of policing, immigration, women’s rights and more. It also makes for better families, businesses and churches. It reflects how God has treated us in our fallenness:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
It’s incredibly telling that salvation came through Christ taking on full humanity and coming as ‘The Son of Man,’ another way of saying, ‘human being.’ He restores our humanity by coming as a human being, dying as a human being and being raised as a human being. As we take our place in him; his death, his life and his rule, we find that we are forgiven, restored and empowered to live a life that loves God and loves others. This happens day by day, moment by moment. through trial and error, repentance and mercy, through pain, grief, beauty, grace, love and loss.
The reality is that nifty policy changes, while good, aren’t the answer to our deepest human ache. That comes from being in Christ and experiencing the unconditional love of Father, Son and Spirit. It comes from being forgiven and free. It comes from being embraced as a son or daughter. It comes from the mercy of God that meets us in our lowest moments, in our shame and in our guilt. May this divine love fill your life this week even as you seek to love others in Christ’s name.
Grace and peace.