Over the years, I have wondered what it would take to become a citizen of another country. One of the more interesting options is Switzerland. On the surface, I find many things about the country compellingly attractive. They have incredible scenery, a sense of commitment and order, and the best cheese in the world. On top of everything, I love their pragmatic sense of neutrality and local control.
As I initially began to pursue what it would take in one canton, I found myself facing more than I imagined. First, I would need to live in the same village for at least nine years. This would not be a simple fly in and out on a periodic basis. I would need to call this village home. Additionally, I would need to learn German. Again, my German would need to be more than casual. It should be fluent. Finally, I should keep one detail in mind at all times. At the end of the nine years, the village would need to vote on my application. If I won the popular, then and only then, I would become a citizen.
For many, access to God is similar to becoming new Swiss citizen. In direct contrast to one contemporary community’s invitation to newcomers, God takes a very different tack. Early wisdom fathers made a decision; “We're not going to unnecessarily burden non-Jewish people who turn to the Master.” (Acts 15.19) This community embraced God’s approach, then and now.
God offers us access to a Divine relationship independent of institutions and structures. Compassion can be a part of every life. Love is universal. Mercy is compelling in any language. The invitation to engage in the heart of living with these principles is open to all.
You are I share an opportunity to be part of something greater than just our individual world. In addition to our local communities, we are part of Divinity’s wonderful family. There are no requirements, however in order to stay we need to want to be there. It is a priceless gift. It is our passport.
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