More and more today, there is the conversations about who we are as individuals. I can remember growing up, you just didn’t talk about who was gay or who dressed up in clothes of the opposite gender. However, I do know that as a female, I am often criticized for serving God and being a pastor. In fact, as a female pre-teen and teenager, I was not allowed to acolyte or participate in certain events of the worship service. So, I do know what it feels like to be excluded. And, it makes me angry! How can someone say whether or not, I have been called by God to preach the Gospel! Who has the right and the judgement call to say and determine, “Who is In and Who is out?”
In Galatians 3:21-29, these were all questions that the people were asking. I don’t think it was extreme as it is today, but the same questions and concerns were being raised. St. Paul tells them, “There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male or female; for ALL of YOU belong to Christ” (v. 28). I wonder if we put it in today’s terms, it might would say: There is no longer gay or straight; there is no longer black, white, Hispanic, or any other race; there is no longer different Christian denominations; there is no longer poor or wealthy; there is no longer male or female; for ALL of You belong to Christ! And, of course, we could continue to add to that list!
Is it sometimes hard to categorize yourself with another group of people? Possibly. Is it difficult to see yourself on the same level as those you don’t want to be a part of? Maybe. But, we are all equal in the eyes of God, which means we are to see ourselves equal, even with those whom we find difficult to love.
Let us pray, Gracious God, humble us to realize that you do not love us anymore than anyone else – whether gay or straight, or male or female, and so forth. We belong to you and so do they! Help us Lord, to come together in your name. Amen.