"Follow anything that makes you want to do right... and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."
- II Timothy 3:22
One of the earliest television programs I can remember was the daytime show, "Queen for a Day," when one woman from the studio audience would be showered with enough clothes, make-up, and gadgetry to transform her from ordinary life to royalty. At least for a day.
Sometime last year a grade school in California sponsored a different kind of one-day transformation. They practiced "Islam for a day," with all female children and cooperating teachers dressed in scarves and burkas sitting in the back of the room, while their male counterparts sat or knelt in front of them reading or teaching from the Quran. Presumably everyone involved became more familiar with a religion they had not understood before.
Perhaps, too, they practiced being peaceful, kind, and loving, which they learned were the identifying marks of those who follow Islam. At least for a day.
Funny, but I've never heard of a television program or a school celebrating "Christianity for a day." Apparently there's nothing wrong with mixing "other religions" and state.
But why not have a "Christianity Day," at least as a learning experience? In a school, a community, a business or even in a church, why not set aside one complete day to find out what it's like to live by Christian principles?
Too complicated, you say? Too many interpretations to make such a simplistic idea work? Then let's not take anyone's definition of the term, but go directly to the source all denominations claim as their "guide in faith and practice." Let's see what would happen if a select group of people lived "not by their own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5) but "by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3). At least for a day.
Obviously, it's impossible to know, let alone live by "every word.... of the Lord." But let's consider the kind of world this could be if we followed even a few of the following divine instructions. At least for a day.
Especially for the young: "Choose instruction rather than silver, and knowledge over pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with it.... Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer." (Proverbs 8:10-11; 9:11-12)
For all ages: "Happy are people of integrity... who do not compromise with evil... (and) who turn their eyes from worthless things." (Psalm 119:1, 3, 37)
A tall order: "Love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you." (John 15:12) "Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong; stand on the side of good." (Romans 12:9)
God's foreign and domestic policy: "Live in harmony with each other.... Never pay back evil for evil.... Conquer evil by doing good.... Do your best to live in peace with everyone." (Romans 12:16-21)
More than a penny for your thoughts: "Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable and right; think about things that are admirable and worthy of praise..." (Philippians 4:8) "Let heaven fill your thoughts. Don't just think of earthly (external, material, temporary) things." (Colossians 3:2)
Especially for parents, some parting words from Moses to the Children of Israel: "Commit yourself wholeheartedly to (God's) commands. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear (symbols of) them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
(Barbara Seaborn is a local freelance writer. E-mail comments to email@example.com)
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