One God – One World – We are all brothers and sisters
Regular columnist Philip Young despairs of the unnecessary conflict which seems to engulf so many regions of the world.
It is a matter of urgency that we heal the divisions that are tearing our world apart. Perhaps the most important change that we need to make is to see ourselves as one family and to look on all other human beings as our brothers and sisters.
It is not enough just to see those who are Christians as our brothers and sisters. I believe that to divide the human race into Christians and those who are not Christians is not only wrong, but also dangerous. If we believe, and act, as if non-Christians are not our brothers and sisters, then our minds exclude a large proportion of the human race, and we become excluding and narrow.
It can be argued, and this is what I would wish to argue, that there is one God, who is the Creator God of all the people in the world, and so, all people are our brothers and sisters. If we are all brothers and sisters in the same family then it makes a nonsense that we continue to kill one another and to fight wars.
Of course not everyone believes in God, but we can still all believe that each human being is a brother or sister and should be treated with love and respect. We need to learn that all human beings are valuable and all deserve to live a decent life free from poverty and protected from disease and malnutrition. Those who are refugees need to be cared for and protected by those of us who find ourselves in a better place.
Jesus came to show us that God is love and that we are all a wonderful mixture of the human and the divine. He was a human being, but also a divine being. In the same way, each of us is a divine being, as well as a human being. When Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, tended the poor she saw in them the face of the divine, the face of Christ. She did not first ask whether they were Christian before taking them in. She saw, first and foremost, a human being in need.
October 24 is United Nations Day, and all of us would do well to celebrate that we are One World (One World Week is from October 23 to 30 this year). As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last year on the UN’s seventieth Anniversary, ‘The UN works for the entire human family of seven billion people, and cares for the earth, our one and only home’.
God is God of all those seven billion brothers and sisters. Let us celebrate being all one family - God loves us all.
Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans. He moved to Felixstowe last year. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. He is now a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at email@example.com
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