I want to invite you to join me in being part of a scandal. A scandal of epic proportions and one that may cause you to live in the tension. It will mean you to have to be brave, uncomfortable, and to step out and use your voice. It’s a scandal that would shake cultural norms, and author a new story of hope and would be a living breathing example of love. I want to invite you to be part of a Scandal Of Grace with me.
I was sitting on the train this past Sunday morning, heading into NYC for church with a heavy heart. The night before, I fell asleep mid- text conversation with one of my best friends who was sharing her heart over Senate Bill 1062 in Arizona. It centers from this development that has taken hold in the state:
Friday, Feb 21 (CNN) — Arizona’s Legislature has passed a controversial bill that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
As I sat on the train the following morning, thinking of my friends who love Jesus and the same-sex, not a piece of me could wrap my head and heart around a world that claims to love God and hate people. Considering some of the people they claim to oppose, love the same God they claim to love. These friends of mine who pour their hearts into movements, causes, and people are some of the best humans I’ve ever met. Imagining any of them being denied service due to someone’s “religious” beliefs, broke my heart and lit a fire.
How many times have we fought this battle as people. A battle against hate and difference of belief? How many generations have been wounded past recognition because we couldn’t sit at the table together? When do we say, enough? It’s the age-less battle against class, religion, race, gender equality, and sexual orientation. Each page of history cloaked in fear “of the differences” we see in one another.
Everything that makes us human is seemingly up for debate, and we’ve written this story so many times the pages are worn thin and the pen is tearing holes as the words take shape.
I believe we can author a new story. I want to be part of a generation of people that is known because of their relentless grace. Because that is what the God I love calls me to do. To be love, His love here. As I read the words of my friend, an image of Jesus weeping for His children, for their pain, flashed through my mind. My heart sank and I thought, “not on our watch, not in this generation”.
We can have a difference of belief, and still journey alongside one another. There are very real battles before us in this world, ones that need us to show up desperately. There are 27 million people in slavery worldwide, human right violations happening from Venezuela to the Ukraine, people dying every minute because of limited resources/access to water, food, medicine and there are over 500,000 US citizens homeless tonight. Where is our grace? Where is our courage to fight for each other? To love each other.
So I invite you to come create a scandal with me. Let’s say “no” to a world that isolates and cause hate to reign in the atmosphere. Too many people have fought this battle throughout history, too many lives lost to suicide and too many hearts broken because we couldn’t actually live in the faith we so loudly proclaim.
It doesn’t matter where you fall in the spectrum of this conversation, we share a common humanity that makes us far more stronger together than apart. I believe that Jesus calls us to show up for each other and to live in relentless grace and extravagant love.
Hate comes from fear within, a feeling of the “other”. There is no “ us” and “them”…… there is just “us”.
Let’s stand for grace
Let’s fight for one another
Let’s create a Scandal of Grace together.