Today is one of those spiritual days for me. It started early this morning. God called me to prayer. And God just didn't stop calling me into God's presence.
I have to confess something here. Sometimes -oft-times- my heart just gets overwhelmed in prayer. Sometimes it is just love and worship toward God, and other times, my soul is troubled and I don't know how to pray. So, my spirit groans with mutterings to deep for words and I read in Romans that when this happens, the Holy Spirit of God mixes in (in what feels like perfect harmony) and W/we pray together according to the perfect will of God.
That happened this morning, and at times the Holy Spirit sort of gives me an inkling of what it was all about. Today's was about love, joy, admiration and gratitude to God. It was worship in community, I believe it was just as Jesus promised us it would be.
During that time, my mind focused on loving the gay men God has given me in my life. Some of them call me "Pastor." And that is an huge responsibility, but it isn't a burden.
Those of us who speak for God do well to examine both ourselves and our doctrine. So, I examined my positional change toward advocating for gay marriage, and my own personal decision to perform Christian weddings for every couple that loves, cherishes and respects each other regardless of their sexual identity. Regardless.
So, as my prayer time continued, I thought of those in my life whom I love dearly who posit a different opinion than me. Was I respecting them? (Regardless of the way they treat me?) And just as important to me, did I have anything to learn from them? Should I imagine their conversation with me and then take time to actually LISTEN respectfully to them? To listen before I answered? To listen and pray?
Is it sin? Is it the way God created people? Is it a problem? Or, is it something to celebrate? (I tend to think the latter.)
But how was I loving those who would say "yes" to the first question in the previous paragraph?
I am pastor and everyone needs love. Even though I am do not call it sin, it is irrelevant to the privilege I have of being pastor. I want to be married, I cannot deny anyone else the same right. To me, the commandment to love my neighbor takes precedent over any other theological construct.
That is my answer, still. When I again re-concluded that this is what I firmly believed, I heard, or maybe thought, but I am pretty sure that I heard the Spirit of God say: "Love Wins." I took it to mean that love wins over sin, over what people call sin, over what people say about others about sin, over people who deny sin even exists...
At 10:00, the beginning of Diane Rehm on NPR, the newscaster announced that SCOTUS just announced that it had legalized same sex marriage in all 50 states. Praise God. I sent a text to one of the gay men that I love.
Friday on Diane Rehm is national politics round table. It is always really good. There is a left leaning, a right leaning, and a moderate panelist. The left leaning panelist was praising the President's "4th quarter" accomplishments as well as the ACA, Iran Nuclear negotions, etc.. He said: "he may be one of the most influential Presidents ever..."
I got to thinking about him and since the day was going well, and it was still a day of prayer, I started praying for him and thanking God for him. I thank God for President Obama.
At 11:00, the newscaster said this: "in a few minutes the President will address the nation about the SCOTUS affirmation of same sex marriage, but the first thing that the President did, the reporter said, was tweet this: "yada yada yada about equality... "LOVE WINS."
The Spirit of God is speaking!