I was recently having a good preen on my perch and listening to humans talking on the radio. And not for the first time, I heard somebody say: “I don’t do Christianity or religion.” And I thought to myself how wrong you are. Because most of us in the western world do “do” Christianity, whether we’re aware of it or not. Because the teachings of Jesus form the bedrock of the modern western societies in which we exist. Jesus gave us all a model for good living here on Earth, and although there will always be room for improvement, most western societies still mainly keep to His teachings. And it’s not simply a case of abiding by the Ten Commandments, -murder, stealing, adultery and all the rest….
Jesus offered us all a new vision for living; a set of ideals that were totally revolutionary for their time. His teaching was that we should all value everybody equally. Irrespective of status, age, power, culture, race, wealth and gender (Galatians 3:28). And the parable of The Good Samaritan adds compassion into the mix (Luke 10:25-37). The same compassion that we see today in the work of the wonderful N.H.S., Social Security systems, and the care of vulnerable humans in society. Irrespective of their racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
Jesus also taught humans to respect and pay their dues to the government of the day (Luke 20:25b), to value humility above almost everything else, and to pursue peace and love in all walks of life.
The worst examples of human suffering have usually occurred when Jesus’ formula for living has been replaced by secular human ideals. Think about the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, or Stalinism in the U.S.S.R.
The story of Jesus isn’t simply some old fairy tale belonging to the distant past. Jesus was the Son of God who came to Earth to change humanity for the better and to offer everyone the hope of eternal life. And He’s still very much present in our modern society, more than two thousand years on. He achieved His legacy without wealth or possessions; without political influence or an army; without violence or worldly power or a proper education. This same Jesus who could convey more wisdom and meaning in a single sentence than a thousand scholars could achieve in a wordy doctrine. The wisdom, the power and the influence of Jesus knows no boundary in space or time. So we all “do” Christianity to some extent, whether we know it or not.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”