Sunday, May 22, 2016

Settling In to Love

It's been a strange season.

I watched the institutional church that is so deep in my veins nearly implode this week -- and the public sources of contention are issues broadly termed "human sexuality."

You know:
Is gender strictly binary?
Can people of the same sex marry?
Can gay people be ordained?

You know...things Jesus discussed all the time.

(Oh, wait, I'm really, really trying not to respond to the world with snark.)

Deep in my soul, I sense this is about other things.

Things like:
Generational transfer
Authority and grace (for a thought provoking read that explores this tension in the current political contest, read here.)
How we read and live scripture

All of this reminds me of's a feeling in my gut.  And I trust my gut.

I can lay my career trajectory alongside the faster and faster and faster evolution and normalization of technology.  I know how frightening the movement of technology has been for many.  I rode that wave and can see how it shaped the work that I do, the way I interact with the world, and really who I am. And technology is and will be.  And it's not always perfect.  But it has also made amazing things possible.

I sense that we are in another series of shifts and changes that make some people very, very uncomfortable.  But does that make those shifts wrong? Does it make those shifts a sin?  Does it make those shifts something we need to use God to defend against?  Are we going to stop it? Could we?

I am one pilgrim on this journey.  And I journey alongside a lot of different people.  One thing I've learned in the past 12 years is that love is a hard thing.  And it makes the difference.  And deep down, all of us, just desperately want to know we are loved and lovable.  And that is who God is to me...God is love.  God loves God's own creation and fights for it every day.  And Jesus summed it up when he advised commanded us to love God and one another.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 -7 describes love.  Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Just before that, at verse 2, Paul writes"If I have faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."

Someone will call out the challenge of wrongdoing and truth in response.  Ok.  That takes me back to interpretation and the tension of authority and grace.  I am going to err on the side of love.  Because that is how my gut responds.

And I'm praying for the shifts and changes that we will all endure.  This is not our world.  In it, as caretakers, we are called to love.