Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cultural Revelation

Today, I had a cultural encounter at the office that has deeply touched me.  An Indian woman and her father arrived with a food donation for our Community Support Services.  When I enquired if the donation was personal or from another organisation, she explained that it was a family fulfilment of a Hindu custom when a close relative dies.  Her father-in-law died in January and every month on the anniversary date of his death for a year, they donate food to assist the poor in honour of their loved one.  She has lived in Australia for 30 years, and has found a way to honour her Hindu culture in the context of Australian culture.

It is hard for me to articulate why this has impacted me so much, except I was the recipient of an act of grace that transcended religious barriers and expressed the very heart of humanity.  The words of an old Salvation Army song took on flesh today: 

Except I am moved with compassion,
How dwelleth thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed
Burning love is my need;
I know I can find this in thee.

Too often when we engage with other cultures or religions our focus tends to be on what divides us rather than what unites us.  As human beings we share a common humanity that is a reflection of our Creator.  While the brokenness of creation has distorted this reflection, the same Spirit who breathed life into us is drawing ALL people to a restored relationship with their Creator God, through the person of Jesus Christ.  The way in which Christians engage with other cultures will determine what reflection of God we project and whether or not that image reveals Christ who is "the way, the truth and the life" or a Church that is a road block to a revelation of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. This is relevant. I like it.