I am proud of my denomination the ELCA. They did something last week at this year’s national assembly that I believe will be a light and model to other churches. The gathering of ELCA Lutherans not noted for their radical political behavior voted to be a sanctuary denomination. This will cause division in many congregations and once again we will have some of those churches leave the ELCA. This happened in 2009 when we voted that LGBTQ folks were welcomed in every leadership role in the church including pastors. Not only that leap of faith, but authorizing that same sex weddings may be performed in ELCA churches and recognizing same sex union as fully married couples.
The preaching texts (Lectionary) speak about what will happen in families and yes in some ways in congregations when we follow and live out the Gospel. It may surprise folks, or not, that when we proclaim the Gospel in both word and deed, we will come into conflict with folks, even those closes to us.
I believe that those who believe in and follow Christ, cannot be silent or not act when we see injustices and acts of hatred in our communities. Some will say that the church should not be political, but when it comes to what Jesus is calling us to do, it transcend politics. “Love thy neighbors as ourselves!” “When you are caring for the least among you are caring for me!” “When you show hospitality and welcome to the stranger you might be showing such to angels!”
I knew a building contractor who was complaining about the shortage of carpenters and construction workers. He said that he would love to start a school, teaching carpentry skills and then interning them at work sites. I jokingly asked if his first class would be about how to build a wall. He said; “No! It would be how to build doorways, cause then you can build a house!” I believe he was a prophet of a sort. Isn’t that what we as the church should be, offering a place where all can enter and know that God house is for them too.