I went to Starbucks this morning. I do that from time to time, but I went there very intentionally this morning. Some anti-gay groups with Christian affiliations are boycotting Starbucks because they now recognize same-sex marriages and offer benefits to same-sex partners of the their employees. I, on the other hand, applaud any organization that recognizes and rewards declarations of love and commitment in world where there is far too much hate and lack of accountability.
Now I happen to not believe that homosexuality is a sin, but even if you do, please be careful where you cast your stones. We all fall short, so I’m puzzled as to why homosexuality is the thing that consistently grabs the headlines.
I’m pretty sure that Jesus (who talked a lot about money and not at all about homosexuality) cares a whole lot more about me driving a six-year-old Audi station wagon (when a six-year-old Toyota hatch-back would get me there just as well), than he does that the couple who serve in many capacities in our church and who have been together over 26 years happen to be the same sex.
I believe that Jesus is far more concerned that I publicly preach that God calls us to be faithful, not successful and then privately lament that our church isn’t growing faster, than he is that the member of our church who most consistently checks on our oldest members and makes sure they always have rides to church happens to be in a long-term relationship with someone of the same gender.
And I am really sure that Jesus is far more disappointed in me for choosing to live in a beautiful, safety bubble of a neighborhood instead of living among those who are struggling, than he is in my dear friend’s same-sex partner who has risked her career and financial stability to care for her ailing mother.
So I took my very sinful self to Starbucks today. I went because I believe in the Bible–the living, breathing word of God. And while some texts do condemn homosexuality, some also condone selling your daughter into slavery under certain circumstances. The Bible was written at a time when people didn’t know what a germ was and believed that disabilities were punishments from God, so we can’t possibly read it in the same way as its first readers. I think the Bible speaks to us today every bit as much as it spoke to people 2,000 years ago, even though we come to the Word from a very different place. That’s what makes it so mysterious and miraculous.
We can follow Jesus and drink expensive coffee, too. We can follow Jesus and still fall short (that’s kind of the whole reason He came in the first place). What we cannot do is follow Jesus and think that we are above anyone who doesn’t agree with us or act like we think they should, because none of us are anything without the grace and love of God made visible through Jesus Christ.
–Rev. Anne Russ