Today the Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states have to recognize gay marriage. The day has come, though the writing has been on the wall for years. My facebook feed immediately filled with emotion: rejoicing and lamenting, relief and frustration, joy and fear.
‘Love wins the day!’
‘What is this nation coming to?!’
‘Equality at last!’
‘Only God can define marriage!’
‘I can finally get married to the person I love!’
Church, I think we need to receive this ruling as an invitation.
*Side note: I know there are many in the Church who believe in gay marriage. If that’s you, you are most welcome to read, but I am speaking here more to those who don’t.*
An invitation to reevaluate our relationship to politics and earthly kingdoms. Have we made an idol of power? Do we remember that we are strangers in a foreign land?
An invitation to take a break from focusing on the speck in our neighbor’s eye and look at our own eye to see if we are ignoring some planks. Really. Let’s take a thorough and humble look at ourselves. And let’s take seriously what He shows us.
An invitation to ask why the Church doesn’t inspire respect for our message and beliefs. Is it for all the right reasons (like the foolishness of the idea that the last shall be first or the idea that an all powerful King would let Himself be crucified) or for all the wrong reasons (like the fact that we SAY those things about the last being first and a crucified King and then go and act in the opposite spirit)?
An invitation to see our LGBT neighbors as infinitely valuable and dearly loved... instead of seeing them as threats. We do not love well when we view others through a lens of fear. These are people, image bearers of God, family, friends… precious, dear, beautiful. We must see that and live it.
An invitation to ask if we could love people better if we would stop trying to control them. Being ‘right’ doesn’t mean it’s the most loving thing to legislate our rightness. Maybe someday much of our culture will share our sexual ethic… but I don’t think it will be because we got a politician on our side who makes a new law.
An invitation to repent. Of where ever we have pride, hypocrisy, or hatred.
And lastly, an invitation to fear not. We are commanded over and over to not be afraid. I think He means it. Do not be afraid. And when fear strikes us, we need to go after the fear first so we can have clear minds and open hearts towards those we are in conflict with. Then and only then do we go and attempt to address the problem that stirred up our fear.
It’s a new day, Church. I think there is much He wants to crucify, transform, and resurrect in us. We must put down our swords and our rights… and our anger and fear. Let’s follow Him down the road towards Calvary where He will do some painful work in us, putting to death in us things that need to be put to death, and resurrecting something quite beautiful.