love one another.

13 May
I woke up at 12:30 am after having gone to bed just after 11.  This never happens to me.  If there is one thing I’m a rock star at, it’s a good night of sleep.  I was super cold so I put on socks and a long sleeve tshirt.  I went back to bed.  Still freezing.  I prance downstairs to investigate turning on the furnace.  The thermostat says that it is 68 degrees.  I normally sleep at 65 so this should not be a problem.  I grab another quilt and back to bed I go, shivering the whole way.
I thought maybe I was getting sick.  [I also sneezed appox. 8 times this morning.]  And maybe that is part of it.  But part of it quite honestly may have been the sermon I was going to preach this morning.
I talked about gay marriage in my sermon.
gasp.  How could I not?  It was in the news all over the place this week.  Obama.  North Carolina.  Last weekend was our synod’s assembly, at which they voted to oppose the upcoming marriage amendment here in Minnesota.  I talked a lot about it with my staff.  [jD and I now hold weekly staff meetings.]  He’s in fact the one who really brought it to my attention and I think he is totally right.  [Right?]
But it still made me incredibly nervous.  And terrified.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I did not tell people what was right or what was wrong.  I tried not to even disclose my own views.  I tried to honor the gospel text in light of what is going on in our world.  That’s something we do every time we read scripture.  
So we talked about friendship.  And loving one another as Jesus commands us.  And how we can honor those gospel topics even when we disagree.  Even when we are scared.  How to be in community with each other.  Oh, how I pray the Holy Spirit used my words for good.
I do really feel like it should be addressed.  At ROG, to my knowledge, the congregation has had zero conversation about gay marriage.  To a point, that can’t be healthy either.  So I did it.  And I’m still terrified that I somehow planted seeds that will result in my removal.  [I exaggerate.]  I think I also want everyone to love me all the time; this might have ruined that with a few people.  But, truth be told, in a leadership position, if I don’t piss people off once in a while, I’m treading too lightly.  Mostly, I heard good feedback.  People acknowledged that it was a hard topic to address, and many thanked me for doing so.  
There was, though, that one gentleman who shook my hand and told me, “Read the Bible.  It’s all in the Bible.”
Interesting.  I’m pretty sure that’s what I did.  
“My commandment is this: Love one another as I have loved you.” [John 15]

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