The story of the lost sheep is a story about equity, a story about a God who embraces those who have been called sinners. It is the story of a God who chases down the ones who are left behind, and brings them to the table. This is a God who does not respect human boundaries. This is a God who loves those who have been told they don’t count. This is a God who pursues you, whatever you’ve done, wherever you’ve been, whoever you love, whatever your back story. This God chases you down.
If you choose to take up your cross, you will be in strange company, but good company. If you choose to follow Christ, to take up your cross, you’ll be standing with a wildly diverse band who believe the world can be re-shaped by sacrificial love. With Christ no one suffers alone, and no one suffers in vain.
Let me say clearly, if your god is the god of one race, your god is an idol. If your god is the god that blesses one nation at the expense of others, that god is an idol. If your god blesses one gender identity, one orientation, one political party at the expense of all others, that god is not the God Jesus preached, that Hosea prophesied, that Paul theologized. We don’t worship that kind of small god in this church.