He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Rev. Jeff Wood, First Presbyterian Church of Sebastian
God asks, very early in the Bible, where is your brother? When Cain retorts, not trembles or blames or confesses but retorts, he retorts with, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The answer, not explicitly stated but nevertheless completely clear, is, “Yes.”
The New Testament adds to Genesis 3 – “For this is the message you heard from the beginning (Genesis is the beginning): We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. (I John 3:11)
The simplest point now is, “Don’t be like Cain.” Or, put in the positive, “Love and take care of your brother.” If somehow there is strife between brothers so they are enemies. Guess what? Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” Love your brother, love your sister, love other human beings in the human family, even ones you have differences with, and love means care for and protect. Reference the Jesus-parable called The Good Samaritan for further commentary on the matter.
So love your white, yellow, brown, red brothers. Your Democratic and Republican brothers. Your Islamic and Buddhist brothers. The female in the human family, the male in the human family, the gay in the human family, the wealthy in the human family, the poor in the human family, even the selfish and the malevolent and the bent in the human family. We’re not parsing who’s right or wrong but rather what is the bottom-line ethic for how human beings, and most certainly for Christians, are to treat each other. We’re not discussing how love works in each situation. But we are saying that our wills are to be set to working on behalf of the welfare and best interests of the other.