One thing you might already know about Los Angeles is the fact that we have a rather large Mexican-American population. There's not a neighborhood in this massive city that doesn't have at least one Taquería,each with their own unique take on tacos.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a day when the Mexican Army’s difficult victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 is remembered and celebrated. But for some strange reason this tradition has migrated to the U.S. And people of all different nationalities and ethnicity join in on the the joyous cultural celebration by eating way too much Mexican food and drinking just enough Mexican beers.
Last night I kicked off Cinco de Mayo by taking my family to a carnival at the kid’s school. Even though everything was in Spanish and I had no idea what anyone was saying, there were we dozens of booths selling all sorts of delicious foods. And of course there were crazy rides, games of chance and luck, and even a stage with many great musical acts.
My favorite part was watching the joy in the eyes of the little children as they discovered the colorful lights that adorned the towering rides. They seem to have seen something we can't see or perhaps have forgotten how to see. They all seemed to have this newness of life that made the world seem more magical than usual. Or maybe they had a better understanding of being in God’s presence.
As I watched these little faces light up, I could hear Jesus whisper, “Unless you become like a little child you will not get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” It was like he was saying to me, "See what they see, feel what they feel, be one with them and you will be one with me."
It must have worked because Colleen came up to me and asked me what I was smiling about. All I could say was, “Mi vita loca…my crazy life.”
How many times has God uttered those words when looking at us?
Jesus has called us to abide in him, that is to say accept his invitation into a personal relationship with him where we celebrate life to the fullest: “keeping the commandments,” and “loving one another.” This is how we bear the good fruit of the Kingdom of God. And the reward for doing this is so that our joy will be complete.
God wants us to be happy like those little children no matter how old we are, or how difficult life might feel like. God is love, and sent Jesus to be with us in this crazy life. Jesus came and gave us the same God Love he received and practiced. With it we also get his joy and his salvation.
That’s worthy of a special celebration every day!
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”