This morning I had the pleasure of someone else leading the worship service. Mother Lauren of the Episcopal church was in town for a meeting with the members of Holy Cross. I did the readings, but she did the rest.

While listening to her preach I was captivated. The Gospel text was the story of Christ kicking the demons, Legion, out of the man and into the pigs. Mother Lauren pointed out a wide range of topics covered by the text. It all came down to Jesus going where society told him not to go and being with people that society had shunned.

“There is no us versus them”

Mother Lauren

Her message did what good messages are supposed to do. It made me think. It is pride month. Sadly, there are people that want to use Christianity to divide. To qualify others. To separate. To exclude. There is no one that Christ does not love.

Throughout the Bible we can read story after story of Christ bringing people back into the community. Christ pursues everyone. Christ went to the hurting, lonely, and forgotten. Christ preached love. The great commandment is to Love God followed by the commandment to Love your neighbor. The Kingdom of God is an inclusive place. All are welcome. And ALL means ALL. NONE are excluded.

I have said in the past that one of the reasons I like being in the ELCA is we tend to look for reasons to come together. This is why I am a Lutheran Pastor running a Lutheran Ministry, preaching in a Presbyterian Church, living in an Episcopal house. Together we are better. We can make a difference if we stop looking for reasons to exclude anyone.

God not only loves you, but God also Loves your neighbor. And so, do I.

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