Food for Thought

by Eric Hamilton

Easter is a time of hope—obviously, a time of hope for eternal life…yet its core message should resonate even with people of other faiths (and of no faith at all).
Easter is about humanity’s fundamental need for redemption. It is about healing that which is broken in each of us. It is about reconciliation, forgiveness, and love.
This Holy Week, rather than writing a traditional column, I am choosing to quote the words of others—words which express better than I can what Easter means to me.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
“So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. Do not judge, or you, too, will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and Money.

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

“He of you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

“I tell you (forgive your brother) not just seven times, but seventy times seven.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

“Be kind to your enemies. It confuses them.” Actually, this was said by Mark Twain, and while it may not be entirely appropriate for this collection of the noblest sentiments ever expressed, I still like it.

Sometimes following this ‘commandment’ of Mark Twain’s is the best that we mere mortals can do. It is beyond most of us—all of us, really—to recognize the fact that we simply should not have enemies.

Christ did not have enemies. That’s really the point—the point of Easter.

Enemy-hood is a two-way street. Other people can try to be your enemy, but you don’t have to cooperate. And Christ never cooperated.

Nearly all the government authorities of Christ’s day considered themselves to be Christ’s enemy, yet He did not cooperate. If Christ had felt Himself to be the enemy of any human being, there would have been no Good Friday, and if there had been no Good Friday, there would have been no Easter.

And there can be no Easter for us, if we spend that Easter thinking about who our enemies are.