As a young boy, I was taught to respect my elders. I was instructed to never call my friends’ parents by their first name. Words like thank you, please, yes sir, no ma’am were normal gestures. In school, my teachers were the pitchers that poured water into my undeveloped mind, and as a result, I was taught to look up to them and submit unto their authority with obedience and thankfulness. Throughout my college and graduate years, I learned to accept individuals for who they were, and not judge them for what they believed. I was taught Biblically to love everyone, even the most undesirable. Jesus taught me to forgive others, no matter how many arrows were released against me. I was tutored by the Holy Spirit not to be cognoscente of one’s racial identification, ethnic status, religious faith, political, and socio-economic condition. Showing respect for others is the key to unlocking the door to societal harmony. It is the path to reconciliation. It is the road to unity.
As much as horizontal respect is needed in our country today, vertical respect needs to be reestablished. I have seen over the years the growing disrespect that has been displayed not only in the world but in the Church as well. The name of God has been dragged from the Heavenly Throne to the gutters of the world. God’s name no longer has a period behind it, but the exclamation of “damn’it,” to accentuate the distaste so many have for Him. In many churches Jesus is being treated like any Tom, Dick, or Harry. He is called our “brother” instead of the Almighty Son of the Living God. Sunday services remind me of a “Christian club,” where we sit around drinking coffee and munching donuts between choruses. Then we settle in to hear a candy-coated message that addresses the wants of the people, instead of their needs. Is that showing respect? Just mentioning the name of Jesus should bring us to our knees. To fully understand Jesus should bring us to the foot of the empty cross praising Him for not only what He has done, but who He is today. He is the Son of God who left the presence of His Father and became as man to offer the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He is the Son of God who left the presence of this sinful world and ascended to the right hand of God, to intercede in the lives of Believers.
I urge every Believer to rethink the commonality of Jesus and to know His holiness and sovereignty once again. Let us rekindle the true fires of worship and give Him the honor He deserves! Let us channel our emotions so as to reflect our understanding that He is more than a brother, He is our Savior, Lord, and soon coming King!!!