"Every truth we see is one to give to the world, not to keep to ourselves alone." Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world." Helen Keller
"The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short;
but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." Michelangelo
"Each night, when I go to sleep, I die.
And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn." Mahatma Gandhi
I wonder what Gandhi meant? Gandhi, as some of you know, was deeply committed to Jesus’ ethics, values and core beliefs; especially found in what we call, “The Sermon on the Mount.” The radical and revolutionary preacher, Clarence Jordan, said, that when growing up, he was taught to memorize the entire Sermon on the Mount. He inferred that it was required to do so, but he felt that everyone should commit themselves to memorize such beliefs and practices.
The sermon is found in Matthew, Chapters 5 to 7. It begins with what we call the Blessings, otherwise known as Beatitudes. "Blessed are pure, peacemakers, persecuted, poor, mournful, meek, merciful, and my favorite--those who hunger and thirst for righteousness." First, you know that is not the order of the Beatitudes, but it does help me to remember them. . . knowing that four of them begin with the letter P, and three with M. However, all I need to remember is my favorite-—being hungry and thirsty, not just for righteousness, but for grace and truth, justice and knowledge. (Matthew 5:1-12)
Secondly, I can imagine memorizing the Beatitudes, but all three Chapters would be daunting. However, it is believed that if Gandhi didn't memorize it, he put its methodology into practice and ended up liberating the entire country of India, without bloodshed. His approach to justice, with its non-violent emphasis, greatly influenced Dr. King, Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez, to name a few. But Gandhi gives sole credit to the soul force...Jesus. Gandhi practiced and read those Chapters to see what we are called and to see, if we lived as such.
But does it answer my question about Gandhi who said each night he dies and the next day is reborn? I do remember Jesus saying, “We must be born again, or anew.” Could it be that rebirth is an ongoing process to grow, to learn and be disciples and followers? If it does, may we experience what Gandhi meant that will make us renewed and revitalized!