With a modern understanding of the world we believe that a creator God began a process 13.7 billion years ago with a big bang of all the chemicals needed to sustain life in some form, in the hope/belief of creating sentient life capable of love; and as one such species that makes sense of the idea of humans ‘being made in the image of God’. Therefore the God as revealed in the person of Jesus is not looking for communities looking to condemn people or communities. Instead the Father wants, for us his/her children, a society where everyone loves more, cares more, goes the extra step, is open to the hurt & the needy – and in so doing become people who become ever more open to demonstrating or living out the will of God for his/her creation.
Once we accept that fact it both makes life easier and harder. Easier because we no longer have to focus on whether A or B can be accepted into our community because EVERYONE is welcome in the Kingdom. Easier as in we don’t have to search for minute fragments in the emerging body of what we know as the Old Testament for comments on homosexuality because EVERYONE is welcome in the Kingdom. Easier as in we no longer have to examine the scripture and the traditions of the church to consider whether women can take full equality with men in the our individual churches because EVERYONE is welcome in the Kingdom. But then it becomes harder because we live in a world that’s changing faster than ever and where new understandings of our own history, of our own genetic makeup and of our own biology, all continue to undermine what we’ve been brought up to understand; and now we have to think every situation/scenario through in the light of a loving God and his/her kingdom – and thinking isn’t easy for most of us. We grumble about rules but they are much easier to follow – which is why the medieval church developed so many.
But that’s exactly what Jesus turned away from; and in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, we know that God doesn’t want us to raise barriers, to bar people, but wants us to demonstrate his/her inclusiveness and to show his/her love to all of creation.
And how does it affect us I hear you ask? Well WE are the people who have to make it happen. WE are the people who can make the kind of community that God hopes for. WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO CAN MAKE GOD’S DREAM COME TRUE.