Embracing Small

I recently walked past what calls itself a ‘local ecumenical project’. Outside, the lawns were groaning under the weight of the causes the church was keen to endorse. There was a sign painted in Ukrainian colours with the words In Solidarity thereupon. Jostling for space was a huge, rainbow-themed HOPE sign. Its minister is reported saying:

‘I am delighted that this church has taken this step [performing same-sex marriages] of recognising the inclusive nature of God’s love and the importance of making all feel welcome. Getting to this stage has been a long and challenging process for our national denominations. I have, however, been impressed with the grace and understanding shown in the conversations held in our churches. We also continue to value and respect those churches who feel it is not right to take this step at this time.’

This is an interesting statement. Valuing and respecting those who disagree is laudable, but presumably, not performing same-sex weddings renders one unable to recognise the ‘inclusive nature of God’s love’ and unwillingness to make ‘all feel welcome’. If the good news of the gospel is simply to endorse and affirm everyone and everyone’s lifestyle, then this is a valid point. But if the gospel is more than that- demanding we each repent and live lives of denying ourselves- then all- gay and straight- are not endorsed but fundamentally challenged to change.

It would be so good if churches might stick up John 3:16 or John 14:6 on a placard in their grounds. Many churches are becoming increasingly pale reflections of secular culture. Spiritual truth and gospel fervour are a little embarrassing, and many stick to talking about foreign wars and identities.

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord... (Psalm 1:1-2a., NKJV)

Image by Anja-#pray for ukraine# #helping hands# stop the war from Pixabay