Love and Respect Those Who are Different

Now that I have recovered from “jet lag,” I have been reflecting on the five days I spent in San Francisco. The spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and inspiration was palpable. I felt more connected to many of these pastoral care givers from diverse faiths and cultures than I do with many within my own denomination/faith group.

As I sat with this reality, I checked the lectionary reading for November 1. Lo, and behold the reading was Mark 12: 28–34. Jesus was quoting two Old Testament passages to summarize what was most important in life. If you are like me you don’t have the Bible memorized so here it is.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

My new Muslim friend shared that the Quran has many references to loving and respecting others, especially those who are different. The Dalai Lama reminds us of the importance of compassion as way to live a happy life.

No wonder I felt wonderful connections with the folks at the conference. When we focus on what is most important spiritual care happens in its best sense.

What do you think about the spirituality similarities between the various faiths and cultures?

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