Romans 10: 5-15 (NRSV)
5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?
“The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart”
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
So, either Saint Paul is lying, or we are lying?
The text above states quite clearly that “everyone,” not only white folks, not only rich folks, not only ‘straight’ folks, not only beautiful folks, not only clever folks, not only non-disabled folks, not only tall men, not only slim women, not only young people, not only university graduates, not only whatever your role as the ‘gate-keeper to salvation’ dictates is acceptable to God!
You see, we so easily make God in our image, in our identity formed at home, in church, in the newspapers, but God cannot be manipulated. God loves us too much to allow us to make Him/Her (!) small. God is more than our formulae for salvation, much more than the list of who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’!
Whether we like it or not, we belong to each other, we don’t get to choose our family of God just like we don’t get to choose or biological families. Be happy! We belong to God.
Phew! Thank you, almighty God, that I don’t choose who is my sister, who is my brother in Christ.
Thank you, eternal God, that You welcome everyone who calls out to You.
May I welcome whosoever this day, as You have welcomed me. Amen.