Sunday, April 15, 2012

One Blood

When I was 19 years old, my grandmother gave me one of the greatest gifts of my life, a trip to Europe. We were a group of college students from many schools touring religious sites in eight countries. Even today, many years later, I recall it as the most delightful summer of my life. It wasn't just the constant rush, the ships to and from Europe, (I recommend at least one of these in a lifetime!), the Alps, Florence, the laughter, the joy of "talking" and not understanding the words but understanding the expressions and hearts -- no, the very greatest souvenir and one that will go to my grave, I pray, was the realization that we are all of one mind and heart and blood: Christ's blood that was shed for us – all of us! The more I thought about it after I got back the more I knew that God and my beloved grandmother had given me something literally priceless, and I thank them both with all my heart.

John Morley gives the following explanation: "Tolerance is far more than the abandonment of civil usurpations over the conscience. Toleration means reverence for all the possibilities of truth, it means acknowledgment that she dwells in diverse mansions and wears vesture of many colors, and speaks in strange tongues; it means frank respect for freedom of indwelling conscience against mechanic forms, official conventions, social force; it means the charity that is greater than faith and hope. Marked is the day for the man when he can truly say, as Mr. Gladstone said, `Long, long have I cast these weeds behind me.'"

Oh, Friends, we are one blood: the precious Blood of Jesus!

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