Year B, Easter 6
Love one another as I have loved you. Those are the words that stuck out the most to me in the scriptures this week. As I have grown up, I have witnessed many changes that have had an effect on the way my mind has developed. I have lived to see our world transform, but I have also lived to see many people try and prevent the change. It is disheartening to see people choose to manipulate scripture in ways that discriminate against a variety of groups. I understand that change is hard and that many people are uncomfortable with some of the revisions we have had to make, but I hope that there will be a day that the words “Love one another as I have loved you” overpower any animosity to said changes. I hope that society will one day realize that these words mean so much more than what they are taken for. Today, many people still decide that they have the power to set restrictions on His love for us. Ironically, these restrictions seem to have no limits. They are applied to our age, gender, the choices we make, the color of our skin, and even who we choose to love. It seems that every corner we come around, there is yet another challenge to overcome. It astounds me that we can belittle something as great as God‘s love for us. By trying to set restrictions on his love, how can we honestly argue that we understand it? I still cannot comprehend His love. However, there is one word that I find accurately describes it. Unconditional. I am proud to be a member of St. Marks because the people here do not set restrictions on God’s love. We accept people for who they are even though they may be very different from us. We choose to love one another and create a welcoming environment. Our church understands that as the world evolves we must evolve with it. Often times at school I am asked what church I am apart of and when I reply, “I am Episcopalian” it generates a multitude of different responses, one of my favorites being “Is that the one where Robin Williams said you can believe in dinosaurs?” I had to look that one up, and yes he indeed said that and yes, the Robin Williams was in fact Episcopalian. I was more than a little excited when I found that out. A more common response, however, is “what do you guys believe in?” That is a bit easier for me to answer because the most important thing that being a member of this church has taught me is that we believe in unconditional love. We believe that no matter what the circumstances are, no one is excluded from God’s love. I believe that this church has played an important part on helping me through school, especially my high school experience, because I have learned to embrace a multitude of different people that today I am proud to call my friends. I have grown so much since I have become a member of St. Marks, and as I approach graduation, I know that my future will be brighter because I understand that God will always love his people and never set restrictions on his love for us. Amen.