|Unfinished Monuments - Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn - 1894|
Jesus said, “Show me the stone that the builders rejected. That is the cornerstone.”
Gospel of Thomas 66, Psalm 118:22-24, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Acts 4:11-12, 1st Peter 2:6-8
We travel further away, some of us, the older of us, from the village of our youth.
Some of us carry that image in our minds and our hearts till we die.
There will always be generational gaps as there are now between the manual past and the new improved and current virtual world of today. It is hard for someone such as me to recognize and try to travel between the different worlds and cultures and the times we encounter in a lifetime.
Most people do not seem to make any effort. They seem to just blend into the times.
I believe that Jesus as a native of Nazareth or as the Son of the Most High had a strange to us but normal to him view of the village of his origin.
As we get more complex in our interface with so many ideas, concepts, feelings, and results of an increasingly complex existence, we should take time out to think and wonder as to what we are in the midst of it all.
At the center of Jesus and his simple message, is the message of the village, planting and harvesting and the everyday joy of living. Sometimes I think that Jesus was more French in his outlook on life than we Americans. (That is a bit of Jesus related irony or humor – I am trying to see Jesus as a man of many dimensions and humor - is something that does not translate from age to age and especially from millennium to millennium – over all human nature has not changed – so humor is valid - is good.)
The modern western world seems at times to be out of sync with the new sterile global village already built but not easily lived in.
The past half century of extended family has in many ways replaced the nuclear family, a concept coined in the nuclear age, to denote the old fashioned concept of parents and children and to be in contrast to current realities. The new extended family of the west, rising like a Phoenix out of the ashes of traditional family concepts, came about because of divorce and step parents, step siblings, and weekend visitation rights. Our present culture, if you look hard at it, isn't the same fabric of Norman Rockwell paintings and idealized bygone eras.
Looking all about at the cultural flux, the collapse and building of many carnival like structures, economic and social, of post WWII America, and the new global culture, one has to wonder if Jesus in his primitive age could understand all the economic or moral challenges of this brave new world.
This new age is built on the concepts of the brain. The mind can calculate money, figures, enterprises, legal compromises with traditional morality.
The heart more than likely touches the soul. Jesus in my view would seem to be more of a heart kind of guy than a braniac.
The point is that no matter where you live in time or space, in a village or a city, in a moral or amoral society, the individual must and usually does carry the village of one’s beginning in one’s mind and in one’s heart. So much else does not matter in the scheme of things.
My choice, my heart tells me what is fair or right or wrong or moral.
The individual, as opposed to the traditional group, is the building stone the builders of the past rejected.
The individual is the cornerstone of the new global village and culture.
Today, the decisions of mere individuals affect not millions but billions of others in our new global reality – the New Jerusalem – of a potential Heaven present here upon this earth. (or a potential Hell)
Be mindful and of heart in the everyday decisions that affect both ourselves and our neighbors.