Elizabeth DeHoff writes my own thoughts so beautifully and surely with fewer words. Grace does transform us!
As you are likely aware, Jesus openly showed love to all, even and especially, to those rejected by the leaders of his religion. He was rejected by those leaders and by Empire. When religion begs the acceptance of Empire, it loses its way. Earthly power and greed take precedence over Love. God is Love. Sadly, religion has too often made God into man, Mystery into the mundane. Because we can’t wrap our tiny heads and tinier hearts around unconditional Love, we make our rules and pretend they are of God. Sound familiar? Jesus spoke of it often when Pharisees chose law over Love.
Those who denied Jesus denied community to the lepers, the blind, the ill, the “other” and contrived legal traps in which to snare Jesus and the sinners he loved and with whom he lived. They denied community to all of us and to themselves. Jesus offered love, community, healing and life to all those rejected by religious society and empire. Jesus consistently throughout the Gospels chose God’s Love over man’s rules. He healed on the Sabbath for one instance among many. Jesus told us to love: ourselves, our neighbors and our enemies. Jesus told us to forgive 70 x 7 times. Jesus told us to serve, to be humble. And to live those amazing Beatitudes! Easy to see why laws applied unevenly, hypocritically are so often chosen over Love.
Live well! Love. Forgive. Serve, especially the meek, the sick, the hungry, the poor, the “other” and the homeless; all those persecuted by man’s law which ignores God’s Love.
Those who seek earthly power are busy pointing out the stick in another’s eye to notice the log in their own. They will judge. They will denigrate all who seem “other” even when we choose to follow God’s Love, Jesus' words and life rather than man’s law. As Jesus made clear, it will always be easier to fit into man’s way than Love’s way. And God is Love.
Pray for them. But don’t accept their narrow judgements not of God.
We are all made in God’s Image. Imagine! That’s all we can do because how can we wrap our heads around a creative energy who is all of us. Beautiful! Accepting. Loving. Forgiving. No “other” or skin color or illness or hatred or judgement or any of the divisions man created and creates to feel powerful.
Live the Beatitudes. Consent and open to the presence and action of God in you. Become transformed by the grace given through the poor, the hungry, the meek who God loves fully even though they fit nowhere in this American society. Through serving them you will love them, love God and love yourself.
God is home and, according to Jesus' life and words, you are welcome!
I’m happy you found your way home!