*Preached at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas on 6/21/15
Less than a week ago, a young man entered a bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. For over an hour, the group communed around the word of God. In that hour, the people of Mother Emanuel illustrated the love of God in their warm embrace of the stranger in their midst. When Dylann Roof opened fire, he declared, “I have to do this.” I have stayed with that phrase ever since I heard it. Why would anyone feel like they have to kill anyone based on the color of their skin?
Our constructions of identity have led to heinous consequences. People think they have to hate people because they are outside of their identified group. We will either learn to love each other because of our differences or perish together as fools. The choice is ours this morning. Will we decide to love beyond the lines that we have drawn around us? Will we stand with Dylann Roof in the defense of constructed identities or with God in the liberation of the world?
In John 14, the disciples were worried about the future. In the midst of difficult hours, Jesus declared, “Let not your hearts be troubled…” Listen to me now, “Let not your hearts be troubled…Believe in God, believe also in me…For in my Father’s house there are many mansions…” I believe that God is preparing a magical place of celebration. I believe that it is big enough and wide enough to hold the beautiful diversity that is each and every one of us. Do not get stuck. Press on toward that day when we shall all be one. In the midst of this great tragedy…”Let not your heart be troubled…”
You are a church founded on identity. You were forged in the fires of the LGBT movement. Is God calling you further still? Is now not the time to examine your hearts and purge your spirits of racism? We cannot be free until we are all free. If you don’t know how to shake all the shit that is keeping you from your neighbors…listen for the word of God. The disciples were confused about the way as well…then Jesus said, “I am the way…I am the truth…I am the life.” This passage takes us even further. God is love…Jesus is the incarnation of God…therefore we can say with certainty, “Love is the way…Love is the truth…Love is the life.” Today, I am asking you to make a decision. Do you believe that love is the way? Do you believe that the LGBT movement is powerful enough to liberate everyone? Do you believe that the future can be now?
I invite you to repent of your racism…let’s fall in love with each other…and simply be…a queer people united in difference.
Let not your heart be troubled…believe…and be the future.