Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What the World needs now

This week marks ten years since Matthew Shepherd was killed in Wyoming for being gay. Not for forcing himself on anyone, for hurting children, for stealing, murdering, or any kind of crime, but for being who he was, other people decided they had the right to kill him.

I've thought a lot about whether or not to post anything regarding this anniversary because I did not want to seem **political**. However, an interview I heard this morning on the radio pushed me over the edge. I listened to an interview with a man who was beaten up this August for being gay.

Why was I worried about seeming to "radical" on my blog? I don't know, since what I am about to endorse should NOT be that shocking.

As a Christian, with my fellow believers in Christ, I am called to this: to love my neighbor as myself.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28-31

We should be past the spiritual milk stage of needing to focus on "loving ourselves so that we can love our neighbor." We are, plain and simple, called to stand up for the sheer humanity of all people! At the very, very, very least, we are called to stand for the safety of all people.

This isn't about tolerance. This isn't about fairness. This isn't even about sin. This is about the most basic commandments from Jesus Christ. If you love God, you cannot ignore your neighbor.

Our hope is built on nothing less that Jesus' blood and righteousness. For those of us who lean on Jesus' name, we cannot stand by and watch our neighbors fall (or be pushed) into the sinking sand of invisibility, violence and hatred.

Stand up for Jesus. Stand up for the fact that Christ's light shines in all people. Stand up for the fact that God loves and longs for everyone. Stand up and let God's work happen through your hands.

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