During a recent episode of American Idol, Simon Cowell turned to his fellow judges and said, "You know what's amazing about this country is that you're genuinely happy when someone you know does well.... The idea of me knowing somebody, they get good news and celebrating with them — I couldn't do it."
Simon, without knowing it, has hit on something rather profound. Deep down, there is something inside each one of us (except for Simon apparently!) that longs to share in the happiness of others. There is a natural inclination to feel what others are feeling--to be happy for those who are happy, and sad for those who are sad. Where does that come from?
Ironically, Martin Luther King Jr. once said,
In every human being, black or white, there exists, however dimly, a certain natural identification with every other human being, so that we tend to feel that what happens to a fellow human being also in some way happens to us. (Quote taken from Marshall Frady's book, Martin Luther King Jr. -- A Life., pg. 39)
Could it be that this natural identification with our fellow human beings points to what we were made for in the beginning? Could it be that this natural desire to share in one another's happiness (however dimly it may seem) is a pointer to what we all long for and what God promises to his children in the end?
We see indications of this desire in God's heart all throughout the Scriptures. Indeed, God's design for the church is to be a diverse people who rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. A people who share their lives with one another in deep awareness of one another's needs. And finally, an ethnically diverse people who worship forever in eternal happiness around the throne of the One who was slain for the sins of the world.
Even Martin Luther King Jr. understood that the fight for compassion and justice was a fight that ultimately pointed to a biblical ending. On one occasion, he told his congregation,
The end is reconciliation, the end is redemption, the end is the creation of a Beloved Community. (Quote taken from Marshall Frady's book, Martin Luther King Jr. -- A Life., pg. 39)
For King it was not just a racial reconciliation, but an ultimate reconciliation of all people. A reconciliation of all human beings, regardless of color. A reconciliation of ethnic diversity and harmony. A reconciliation and creation of a beloved community crying out to King Jesus for all eternity.
So, the question for us today is simply this: Are we working toward reconciliation? Are we giving others a picture of the beloved community that's coming in the new creation? If so, maybe Simon Cowell, and other skeptics like him, will take notice and perhaps bow the knee to King Jesus.