Sunday, 1 January 2012

I Will Be My Brother's Keeper

Photo Credit: Julia Folsom
http://www.flickr.com/people/jfolsom/
So another New Year is upon us. I’m not normally one for making New Year’s Resolutions, but as I was thinking about this, I wanted to share something to bless you and to encourage you. As I considered this and wondered what God would have me to say, a Rich Mullins song began to play in the background. The song was “Brother’s Keeper.”

As the music played I began to think about all the ways that we unfortunately often seem to be anything but our “brother’s keeper.” I thought of all the ways we sometimes judge one another simply because of our petty differences or theological opinion. I thought of some of the controversial books I’ve read this past year and of the barrage of Internet rebuttals that have sometimes ensued because somebody dared to have a doctrinal opinion that didn’t flow very well with the main stream of Christendom (or with ours). I thought of some of the ways that I too have been less than graceful, either verbally or through something I had written. I quickly felt ashamed of some of the ways we have treated one another.

As I thought about these things, I hit the replay for the Rich Mullins song and listened carefully to the lyrics again. “That’s it,” I thought. My goal, or resolution if you will, for 2012 is to seek to focus much more on my “brothers” and “sisters” for who they are – children of God and joint heirs with Christ – and much less on the things that divide. What would happen if we all spent a little more time celebrating the things that unite and a little less time focusing on the things that divide? What would happen if we all resolved to make 2012 the year in which we practiced more genuine and unpretentious LOVE instead of only pseudo-love? Ultimately, isn’t that what it means to be our “Brother’s Keeper?” I’d like to think so.
Yes, I will be my brother's keeper. Will you?
Rich Mullins was one of my favorite singers before the Lord called him home. His music continues to bless and encourage me. As you read the lyrics below to his classic, “Brother’s Keeper,” I would like to encourage you to rethink how you might respond to other brothers and sisters this year who perhaps don’t exactly share your interpretation of Scripture.  There is the question and there is the challenge. Will we be confrontational or will we be gentle? “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1; NIV). Which one will we use? Are you your “Brother’s Keeper?” Am I my "Brother's Keeper?" Lord, let it be so.
"Now the plummer's got a drip in his spigot, The mechanic's got a clank in his car, And the preacher's thinking thoughts that are wicked, And the lover's got a lonely heart, My friends ain't the way I wish they were, They are just the way they are.
And I will be my brother's keeper, Not the one who judges him, I won't despise him for his weakness, I won't regard him for his strength, I won't take away his freedom, I will help him learn to stand, And I will, I will be my brother's keeper.
Now this roof has got a few missing shingles, But at least we got ourselves a roof, And they say that she's a fallen angel, I wonder if she recalls when she last flew, There's no point in pointing fingers, Unless you're pointing to the truth.
And I will be my brother's keeper, Not the one who judges him, I won't despise him for his weakness, I won't regard him for his strength, I won't take away his freedom, I will help him learn to stand, And I will, I will be my brother's keeper.
I will be my brother's keeper, Not the one who judges him, I won't despise him for his weakness, I won't regard him for his strength, I won't take away his freedom, I will help him learn to stand, And I will, I will be my brother's keeper."


The Apostle Paul said, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:5-6; ESV).

I wish for you a blessed and a happy New Year. Peace. 
__________

(For more on this, please see my post Celebrate What's Right With The Church)

No comments:

Post a Comment