BTCS_Meme_7These past couple of days have been a very trying time within The United Methodist Church as we gathered from around the world for a special called General Conference. This was to address certain areas of our polity in the situations surrounding human sexuality. This was a moment that we could demonstrate to the world what a fellowship of Christian believers should look like and act like. This was a time for us to stand up for all of humanity, regardless of age, race, economic status, and yes, gender equality and identity. This should have been a time when all people could hear the love God has for them, how much God desires to be in a relationship with them, and how the Church can help in every aspect of their lives. It wasn’t.

I am disappointed and hurt that we could not find a way to demonstrate that love which God blesses us with. I am saddened for all the people who have been hurt by these words and actions. I am frustrated by the process in which we can move forward. But there is one thing I will not lose over this decision. I will not lose hope.

I hope and pray for the day when we are truly all equal. I pray for the day when there is no racial divide, no gender bias for employment or pay, no discrimination for anyone, and no oppression felt by anyone. We are all created in God’s image, and that image is one of love. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are also called to love our neighbor as ourselves. How can we possibly do that when we want certain ones, not like us, to be excluded from any aspect of our lives? When did we become the ones to choose who was in or out?

So, let me tell you this. I don’t care who you are, what you might have done, or how you identify yourselves, you are a beloved child of God. And God longs to show his love to you. Romans 5:8 tells us; “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ didn’t just die for a few, but for all. Christ didn’t die for only those who had been circumcised, those who belonged to Israel, those who followed all the commands of the Bible. Christ didn’t die for only those who attended worship every single time or gave a full tithe. Christ died for all of us, and that means me and you, wherever you are.

Paul tells us in Galatians that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We are all one, unified in Jesus Christ for his one mission of making disciples. Helping others along their journey of faith. Can we be unified in this? I think we can and to a certain degree, I think we are.

I follow more of Paul’s words in Ephesians when he tells us to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Forgiveness is offered, and now the mission is before us. Do we choose to take the difficult path and choose to make disciples, regardless of the cost? I say yes! I will faithfully live out God’s call on my life and I encourage you to do the same. We are all God’s creation. We are all loved by God. And in the words of God, we are all very good.

You are a beloved child of God, and I love you.