Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Greatest Commandment

I have come to the conclusion that God still uses everyday people to answer life’s greatest conundrums and let His will be known for the world through these ‘everyday people’. (By everyday people, I mean the people that you would interact with everyday, like your family, friends, colleagues and other people that might cross your path.)

My story starts a week or so back, when I was in a battle with myself. Will I make a choice, based on the accepted norm of society within the teaching and morals of the church, or will I follow my heart’s desire.

I have to come out of the closet about something, not many of you might know: Two of my friends are lesbians. One of my lesbian friends I knew from the time that I was in my last year of school. Thus we have a friendship of over five years and it is still continuing. It was only when I was almost finish with my High School finals, that I suspected that she might be a lesbian.( I would soon enough find out that she was actually a lesbian)

The other friend I got to know through the friend I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I did, however saw her a lot of times before I was actually introduced to her, seeing that on several accounts, she was the waitress of my table in my favorite coffee shop. She and my other friend have been engaged since July of last year.

If you have not realized it by now, the battle I found myself in surrounds my two friends. Will I, like the most of the churchgoers take in the stand of rejection towards my two friends, because they are lesbians, and according to the Bible, homosexuality is an appalling sin, or will I hate the sin of homosexuality, but I will love the sinner.

Did Jesus, Himself go and gather with the people which the religious leaders of that time, rejected as ‘sinners’.

To come back to my story, I ask God to give a clear answer, what I must do. I pray to God for an answer, but God was silent to my request, or so I thought …

The next morning, my friend Chris, gave his departing sermon in church, before leaving for Port Shepstone, where he has been called to minister in the local Dutch Reformed Church.

His sermon was on the whole story surrounding the Pharisee and the tax-collector in the temple and how that the Pharisee prayed and thanked God that he is not like the tax-collector, whilst the tax-collector had a more simple request, that God will have mercy on him.

The point Chris wanted to bring across, is that all of us is sinners and fall short of God’s glory and that we can be only saved by God’s grace alone. And he left us with a straight-forward challenge: To accept God’s Saving Grace through Jesus Christ, and loving other people in the same way Jesus loved both the “sinners” and the “sinless”(Pharisees) of that time.

I also gained something from that sermon, God answer my question; I have struggled with during the previous 24 hours. I made the decision to accept my lesbian friends for who they are, and not throw away a friendship, because of the opinion o the church. I will love Lelanie and Haylee with the same compassion and love, Jesus had for the sinner of that day, and still have till this very day, and even beyond this moment in time.

After saying al of this, I decided to get out of the closet and declare that some of my friends are gay or lesbian, and I will not reject them, even if the church does not think likewise. I will love them as Jesus instructed me to do. Jesus gave the command “LOVE ONE ANOTHER!”