In the book, Christ in the 21st Century, Ewert Cousins, embraces the world as a beautiful kaleidoscope of diversity. He suggests that many possibilities exist in our global world for meeting one another with openness as we embark on a journey of global consciousness. Cousins suggests that a journey of respect can take place for a Christian who seeks to embrace the diversity and richness of other religions. The journey begins when a person with a Christian cultural background meets another religion. The person “passes over” into the value consciousness of another religion, and “comes back” to ones’ own roots, enriched by the other religion. A further enrichment can take place when the person seeks to develop a theory of the interrelationship of world religions realizing that in the major religions of the world, there are similar core values.
The core values of major world religions include love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, enlightenment. These are the essentials of interrelationship. Jesus encouraged his disciples to see the kaleidoscope of possibilities.
In the Christian scriptures (Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48) we find John talking to Jesus relating that he and the others saw someone healing and teaching but because the person was not a follower of Jesus they tried to prevent the person from healing. Jesus told John not to prevent the person from healing, whoever is not against us is for us.
In many ways Jesus was saying, the person healing has the same core values we do. It isn’t important what someone calls God or who they follow, what is important is that the core values of love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, enlightenment are part of our lives. There are many ways to live out these core values and Jesus encouraged his friends to see the beauty of the kaleidoscope of possibilities.
Sometimes in our lives we limit the possibilities. Seeing the beauty or goodness in another does not take away from our beauty or goodness. Respecting how another lives out the core values of love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, enlightenment does not take away from the ways we live out those core values. Respecting the way another religion lives out those core values does not take away from embracing our religion. We embrace the kaleidoscope of possibilities which brings beauty to our world.
Our invitation is to embrace the kaleidoscope of possibilities.
Blessings and peace,