Romans 10.19 “The Message”
“Moses had it right when he predicted, ‘When you see God reach out to those you consider your in- feriors –
– you’ll become insanely jealous. When you see God reach out to people you think are religiously stupid, you’ll throw temper tantrums.’ ”
Moses. Isaiah. Paul. They all preached the Universal Love of God (Romans 10.12, 19, 20). No one is beneath God’s dignity. No one is beyond His reach. No one is lost for good… unless they want to be. But why would they want to be? Why would anyone want to remain untouched by the Universal Love of God? That’s the point. They don’t. People want God’s love and doubters need to be informed. They need an opportunity to have faith in Christ and may be waiting for you to bring the message. (If you don't believe me, read Romans 10.14-15).
It’s us, the church. We're the ones who easily pass judgment and accept outsiders with difficulty. We cop an attitude and fail to interpret the signals. “They’re pagans in fast pursuit of their hedonistic pleasures”, we complain. “They obviously want nothing to do with Jesus. Why, just look at them. Their behavior is deplorable. Disgusting.”
It’s not easy to extend the Universal Love of God to all people at all times. I recently channel surfed to a public access TV show featuring a gay pride parade in Seattle’s Fremont district. Supporters cheered a troupe of naked bicyclists who had painted every square inch of their exposed bodies with flamboyant and colorful designs. What would you think if you were taking your family for a neighborhood stroll and saw that?
Perhaps we forgot…
- Jesus died because He loved the naked gay guy on a bicycle as much as you and me.
- Every behavior (yours, ours, and theirs) is either an act of love or a cry for love.
- God has plenty of love to spare.
God, deliver me from the attitude (demon?) of religious superiority that grants false permission to conclude You love me (and people like me) more than (those I consider to be) “outsiders”. Broaden my mental boundaries. Increase my capacity to love.
Surprise me by an act of Your Universal Love.
Photos above are of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride March in New York City on June 26, 2005 by photographer Don Wiss (http://donwiss.com/pictures/) and used here with his permission.