I write this with a heavy awareness of what is happening in the world. You do not have to listen very closely to hear the rhetoric of hate, anger and division that plagues our world, our nation, and our churches.
Fiercely we see people debate homosexual marriage, and immigration. We see passion burning so hotly that it consumes us and those around us. In the midst of all the politics, and all the arguments, and all the assumptions we have forgotten to listen to our Heavenly Father.
Perhaps we have been so focused on morality, or holiness, or tradition that we have forgotten the gospel...the good news. Too often what we argue does not sound like good news. I think we are so eager to make political stands, we forget to see that we are not standing on the rock.
These two issues homosexual marriage and immigration are very divisive yet very important for the church today. How we speak about these and how we deal with them is extremely important to Christ. But before we even begin to think and speak about such things we must remember the message of the gospel, the good news.
We need to remember Jesus began his preaching ministry in Matthew with the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says:
Blessed are the poor in spirit for there's is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:3-5)
Jesus blesses those whom we would not otherwise see as blessed. If Jesus preached that sermon today, who would he mention as those who are blessed? Certainly we could mention the poor, the sad, and the weak. But who fit in this category? Jesus' list in Matthew 5 is not exhaustive; there are many more we could add such as:
Blessed are the immigrants for they will be given a home
Blessed are the homosexual for the Father will pour his love on them
Blessed are the tattooed for God will put his mark on them
Blessed are the drunk, high, and strung out, for God will inject them with the Spirit
Blessed are the mentally ill, for God will be mindful of them
Blessed are the single parents, for God will be their partner
Blessed are the children with no mothers or fathers, for God is their heavenly Father.
We could add so many to this list. These are people who are hurt, ostracized, and often seen outside of God's favor. Oftentimes we keep them at arm's length.
Remember the ministry of Jesus. Remember who he healed, whom he touched, whom he ate with, spoke with, did ministry with. Remember whom Jesus welcomed and who he blessed. Instead of worrying too much about political solutions we should focus on Christ solutions. Our arms are not made to push people away, but to bring people in.
Look around today, who can we bless, who is Christ blessing today?