Last weekend I addressed the mass shooting in Florida in a sermon titled Lament for Orlando.
There were three important takeaways…
1. Our faith should not be a reason to turn away from each other, but it should be, must be the reason we move toward each other and press in, even when we don’t understand and approve. Jesus moved toward people, not away from them.
2. We need to stop using generalizations about people. All Muslims are like this. All Christians are like this. All Gays and Lesbians are like this. All Liberals are like this. All Conservatives are like this. Ask yourself this: Do your words add to the hurt in this world, or do they bring hope and healing?
3. We must commit to the principle that being a disciple of Christ can mean nothing less than intentionally standing up, regardless of our differences, for people whose lives have been devalued or dehumanized by hate, religious bigotry, or ignorance.
I want to be a church that embraces the messy. A church more concerned about loving people the way Jesus loved people than having all the answers or defending its beliefs. A church that is a safe place for people to tell their stories, share their deepest sorrow, and have the permission to wrestle with the messy stuff of life. It would be a beautiful mess.