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.
The first in a series of sermons asking the question; "What do we mean when we say the word God?" After a week like this one, remembering the victims of violence from mosques in New Zealand: When we say we believe in the God of Abraham, the God of Sarah, we also must know that we claim the God of Hagar. Our God is not a narrow tribal God. Our One God is capable of mercy, and justice, and love not just for one group, but for all of humanity.