I enjoyed Michael Shook’s response to my letter (“Christianity: Love is most important,” Jan. 3). I smiled seeing his letter printed above a picture of Martin Luther King. The Reverend understood God’s message. Jesus’ life was the message. Jesus and King both knew how dangerous it was to tell the truth when powerful forces don’t want some truths told. Jesus spoke of love and loving God. But what is love and what does it really mean to love God?
God’s message was: “I mean for you to be free. Use your freedom to love.” Sometimes myth can be a metaphor, sometimes just a purposeful lie. The myth says: “Jesus will save you. You can never be what he was, so don’t even try.” Most Jews and Christians are so confused by their religious teaching they can’t even agree on what these words mean: “Thou shalt not kill.”
Living one’s truth while constantly seeking deeper truth with integrity is the essential key to loving others and loving God. Jesus was ahead of his time. Still is. He was insulted by the consciousness that permeated his society … the love of money, the seeking and use of power to cheat, intimidate, rule over and silence others. You should be insulted, too.
There are six words that Jesus understood: truth, honor, dignity, compassion, courage and love. If you strive to understand and live any one of these words in the deepest understanding of what they mean, you will live all six. It takes all six to fully be any of them. To love yourself and everyone else is loving God. Being human, we fall, learn, get up and try again. He keeps sending messengers; we keep killing them … and/or their messages. Choose a word to live by.
— Mark Goldman