Sunday, January 03, 2010
This morning our celebrant reminded us that one of the most important things the Incarnation of God came to prove and demonstrate, was... dignity. She elaborated... that the dignity of humankind was respected and valued so much that God became human. In spite of ourselves, in spite of the darkness, we were worth it.
When Jesus grew to manhood and began his ministry, he granted to all he met that same regard for dignity. To John, he granted the right of his own baptism. He granted Mary Magdalene the status of disciple because he recognized women as humans with value, not chattel. He saw his enemies as people worthy of his prayers. He recognized us only as lost, not evil.
She gave another example from the Broadway musical "South Pacific"... where the song by Lieutenant Cable explains that you have to be taught bigotry, you aren't born with it. So far ahead of their time in 1949, Rodgers and Hammerstein received a lot of criticism for their commentary on racial discrimination. They were accused of being Communists, a threat that would take hold and rampage artists and thinkers throughout the 50's and into the 60's.
How do we grant dignity to those who work for us?
to the poor?
to those we perceive as less intelligent?
It is a sad commentary that we still have so much to learn from the God who made us, who became one of us to give Himself as an example.