In the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline it states that we consider all persons as having sacred worth. This is more of what we are living into, than have established. Our church like many have those who want to be gatekeepers, keeping in certain people, and keeping out others. I wonder, how does God see us? Are the prisoners, sex offenders, homeless, LBGT, republicans, democrats, terrorists, soldiers, welcome or turned away?
I know my heart welcomes some more than others, I am sometimes appalled with how easily it is for me to judge, and to hold grudges towards those who I want to suffer for their sins. I want to throttle that motorist who needs to cut me and my fellow travelers off as we go down the freeway. I get passionate about those who do not look at those with learning disabilities with compassion and try to find ways to include them in life's activities such as school, church, scouts. I have a hard time with those who kidnap people and turn them into slaves.
So how can I reconcile my urge to punish with the words of Jesus, forgive them for they know not what they do? I don't think I can always, rather, I can look at these enemies of mine with eyes of compassion, holding them accountable for their sins, but trusting that God will work in me to bring them peace, not eternal damnation. Ah, such a messy world we live in, it would be much easier to be a gatekeeper than a peacemaker..