We frequently look at belonging, in society and in the body of Christ, as a limited and diminishing account – few are called and few will ever measure up enough to make the cut! What does Jesus have to say about this? One of the most quoted verses, John 3:16, says that God loves us so much that the invitation is to all who would, “come!”
Let’s think for a moment about how we exemplify this in our own faith journeys. When we are part of a community we often create requirements for others to belong; they must comply or at least really try to comply with our standards of membership. Seeing it this way is not limited to denominational or religious affiliation. Some same-gender-loving people believe trans-folks are carpet-baggers trying to jump on their bandwagon while some GLBT folks of faith feel that “outside issues” like immigration or the environment detract from the importance of their inclusion. Also folks on the left and the right politically think the other side needs to get it together and view issues “correctly” through their lens.
In order for us to grow into a “who-so-ever” economy in Christ we may need to stop viewing God and God’s love as one of lack and limitation. We really can afford to expand our welcome of transgender and gay people.
Let’s envision the door open for all to come in and wrestle with their place in the life of spiritual community and offer our love and support, sans our judgment and proscriptions.
Admittedly, stretching to be inclusive in this way ain’t as easy as making instant oatmeal! It will surely take most of us time, effort and struggle. It may mean that we have to re-train ourselves to see the love of God as limitless, for everyone. We may need to unlearn what we’ve been taught about feast and famine – that there is possibility, fullness, celebration, ritual and hope available in either position!