Jesus, in Matthew 5 addresses the crowd with this statement, You have heard it said.[i] Jesus was pointing back to the Old Testament, and giving updated meaning to the commands passed down from generation after generation. In the same way we are passing down our traditions and culture to the next. The question is, what are we passing down? Are we passing down a message of fear of the different? Are we passing down a mindset that says do not go downtown! Do not go to the under privileged! Do not. Do Not. DO NOT. I see a current mindset of believers comfortable with giving money so others can go into the dark places but not willing to go and love. We have heard it said….
Emma is four years old now and I am constantly reminded that I have no idea what I am doing. I am new at this Parenting thing. She often asks questions of all types and lately has been asking more deep thinking ones. She recently asked me if children die. I reluctantly said, Well, some children die. I saw tears begin to well up in her eyes and she looked at me once again and asked, Am I going to die? By, this time I was worried where this was coming from. I again answered, Emma, baby everyone is going to die sometime. For the record, Emma is our first and only child so this is new for me. She began to cry uncontrollably. I assured her that she was not going to die and she would grow old and have a great life. She calmed down but I could tell she looked right through my comforting and let out sobs here and there. I thought about it later that day, is my daughter going to live a long life? Is she going to experience tragedy, pain, sorrow, love, joy and all the emotions that come with growing up? Can I assure her that she is going to live? Will I be the parent that passes down a love for all people? Or, will I pass down a fear of people that have less than ourselves? Will Emma live up to her name sake, all embracing, when it comes to others or will she lift her nose at those who live on the other side?