Jesus had radically different ideas about loving people that went completely against the conventional wisdom of religion and culture in that day: He showed compassion to the marginalized by loving them, valuing them, and revealing their true identity as a daughter or son of God our Father.
This angered and alarmed religious leaders, who chose instead to undermine their identity and strip them of value.
It bothers me that religious people who call themselves Christians continue to marginalize people groups as if the individual people in the group have no value or identity. Jesus never did that. He never shunned a person based on how they identified themselves, or on how others identified them.
Instead, he sought them out to share a meal, have a conversation, and really know them, and it was in those acts of love and compassion that he found a path into their hearts.
Seattle’s Gay Pride Parade ended right at my back door today, and there were a lot of beautiful people celebrating in my neighborhood.
I wonder if we as Christians could ever find a way to have meaningful conversations with people who are very different from us. It’s been two thousand years since the bigotry of Jesus’ day, so I’m starting to lose hope that it’s possible.
(Edited to express hopelessness on 6/14/16, following the death of 50 people at a gay night club in Orlando.)