In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.Matthew 7:12
One of my favorite movies from years past is Trading Places, which is a 1983 comedy staring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy portraying an upper class broker and a homeless man respectfully. Their life paths cross and then they unknowingly become part of an elaborate bet that has them trading places in life.
I thought about that movie last week, not for the comedy or the storyline, but for the idea of trading places with another human being. I am certain that none of us would have chosen to trade places with George Floyd, the Black man who was killed in Minneapolis last week by a police officer who kneeled on his neck until he could no longer breathe. We have seen the video and the pictures on the news and social media over and over and have heard the words, “I can’t breathe;” and it is heartbreaking and difficult to watch.
As people of faith, our best resources have always been available to us…Scripture, prayer, faithful action and our ability to learn and grow. When we read Scripture consistently and faithfully, we find ways to stand between the scripture and what is happening in the world around us. When we can stand in that gap, there always seems to be a connection to make. What we call the Golden Rule from the Gospel of Matthew is found in some form in every culture and every major world religion. It is also a basic human ethic claimed by people that would name no religion or belief in God.
The Golden Rule speaks to trading places…treat others the way we would want to be treated; regardless of who they are, the color of their skin, what they did or did not do, or what are opinions of them may be. It is worth pondering in these continued pandemic days and continued days of witnessing the mistreatment of others.
In these days after Pentecost, may God’s Holy Spirit pour out upon us so that we might use the Gospel, along with our voices, our prayers and our actions to serve God’s people.