3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: National Day of Prayer 2009 - a reflection on the Golden Rule

This is a week of numerous special occasions:

- In our Youth Group at Provo Community Church we have an Opening Ritual which includes the sharing of Random Facts

- Tuesday we had a Fiesta de Cinco de Mayo

- The random fact of the Day was: It is not Mexican Independence Day

- During our Fiesta the Youth experienced a Universal Truth: Sometimes you need to hit that Pinata hard to reach your goal

- Another Special Occasion is today’s National Day of Prayer: We do not have a lot in common, let’s face it: We are young we are old, we are women we are men, we are Utah natives or transplants, we have many different believes, but we gather around one universal truth, and that is that praying is a good thing

- Tomorrow the new Star Trek movie is starting and The Original Series of the 60’s taught another important universal truth: A white American Captain served with a Russian navigator, a Japanese helmsman, a Vulcan first officer and he even kissed the black chief communications officer. The universal truth here is: Peace is possible!

- On Sunday we are going to celebrate Mother’s Day. My wife is pregnant with our second daughter and she can tell you another universal truth: Kids may be a great blessing but the path of pregnancy feels like hitting a Pinata to reach the candy of new life

The Golden Rule:

- I’ve been assigned to talk to you about another universal truth: The Golden Rule of which you find many versions in your program tonight. It goes by the name of The Golden Rule for numerous reasons: It is precious as gold and needs to be treated with accuracy just like gold, ounce by ounce

- The Golden Rule is a commonplace: Most traditions have it

- The Golden Rule is common sense: The most concise version is to be found in the works of Immanuel Kant and goes by the name of the Categorical Imperative: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

- The Golden Rule is common property: No one single tradition can claim it for itself alone

Jesus’ Version:

- Me being asked to speak as a representative of Christianity I need to stress a couple of things that are unique about Jesus’ version of the Golden Rule:

- He words it positive instead of negative: "DO to others" instead of "Do NOT do to your fellowman". That imposes much more of a challenge. Jesus says: Get up, move and act upon God’s grace! Not: sit back, relax and avoid doing harm to others.

- Yet the goal is not to be an ethically good human being, but to fulfill the law and the prophets. At another occasion Jesus explains what that fulfillment looks like: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Application to Special Occasions:

- Acting upon God’s Love or the Moral Imperative, depending on your tradition in the light of this weeks’ special occasions may look like this:

- Cinco de Mayo reminds us to celebrate diversity in Utah Valley

- The National Day of Prayer reminds us to not just pray in silence but positively act toward the unity of all of God’s children

- The new Star Trek Movie reminds us that there are enemies out there that need to be stopped. May God bless our troops.

- Mother’s Day reminds especially the mothers among us not to dissolve themselves into family work but to love themselves as they love their families.

- Amen.

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