what would it look like for us to (re)learn to love? to actually connect the current understanding of what it means to be a christ follower with his teachings and his life?
jesus said we would be known by our love.
i am convinced in order to love well – particularly in a relationship where one or both parties have been hurt or disconnected – we must make a commitment toward fidelity and reconciliation.
fidelity is merely loyalty, dependability and faithfulness in a relationship. around The Marin Foundation, reconciliation is defined as the intentional pursuit of that which is disconnected.
my mind unapologetically races to stories of jesus, who set the example in pursuing that which is disconnected as he showed us humanity as it was created to be.
think about it ::
• the woman at the well – disconnected.
• the man born blind – disconnected.
• the leper – disconnected.
• the man with a withered hand – disconnected.
• the story of the samaritan – disconnected.
• the woman caught in the act of adultery – disconnected.
• the traitor tax collector – disconnected.
you and me – disconnected.
and now, having been reunited in christ, he entrusts to his followers the very ministry of reconciliation – that we would be ambassadors of reconciliation on his behalf!
we carry his message of unconditional love.
yet that pursuit of that which is disconnected creates tension – just as it did for jesus. those in positions of religious influence were disturbed by this message – for it rendered their divisions (clean/unclean || jew/gentile || holy/common || worthy/unworthy || in/out) obsolete and meaningless.
the same is true for us today :: the pursuit of what is disconnected creates tension.
particularly in the context of religious and LGBT communities entering dialogue together, it seems the stakes couldn’t be higher. building bridges between these communities forces secondary issues to become…well, secondary.
many would like to draw clear lines, create boundaries and build armies loyal to their own perspective rather than living in the tension of building bridges between opposing worldviews.
peaceful and productive conversations come at a cost – and compromise isn’t something those holding onto or seeking power are prone to do.
but some tensions are necessary.
as martin luther king, jr. wrote ::
‘I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.’
what if both sides were committed to community?
what if – instead of fighting against our neighbor – we loved them? what if – instead of arguing to demonize and dehumanize our enemies – we chose instead to stand in solidarity with them? what if – instead of running away when things got uncomfortable – we stayed in an effort to reconcile and grow together as a result of peaceful and productive dialogue?
can you imagine the enthusiasm christ has when his followers act as agents of reconciliation with Others made in his image?
when one takes an objective step back from the conversation between the LGBT community and the church, it becomes literally impossible to disconnect how we have behaved toward one another || with our call as ambassadors of reconciliation.
it is time for us to lead the way in the intentional pursuit of that which is disconnected, to commit to faithfulness, fidelity and solidarity with those who have been seen as Other and to settle into the difficult place of living in the tension of this conversation.
only then will we be able to connect to our calling as those who are known by
their his love.
what do you think?