02 July 2010

"I'm Sorry" at Pride Chicago

Last Sunday the offertory hymn was When Christ Was Lifted From the Earth which has become one of my favourite hymns. And, no, not because of any "of course you do" reasons. The hymn really tells it like it is.

God knows us in that intimate way that we know ourselves, behind the closed door with the curtains drawn. He knows the "us" we are when we are completely alone. He knows if we drink milk from the carton and put it back in the refrigerator. He knows if we really throw away the hot dog that fell on the floor if we pick it up off the floor and eat it without even brushing it off. He knows if we would rob a bank if you knew we would get away with it.

And yet, he loves us anyway. He is reconciled to us and we to him.

There is a large difference between 'acceptance' and 'reconciliation.' The former says 'I'll put up with you.' The latter says, 'You are restored to me.'

I read a wonderful blog entry today by Nathan over at It seems to me ... and I'd like to ask you to go read it. It's called, simply, I hugged a man in his underwear and I am proud. It's about Nathan's experience at Pride Chicao - no, it's not what you think it is going to be. Here is a quote from the post.
Acceptance is one thing. Reconciliation is another. Sure at Pride, everyone is accepted (except perhaps the protestors). There are churches that say they accept all. There are business that say the accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is.

But there isn’t always reconciliation. And when there isn’t reconciliation, there isn’t full acceptance. Reconciliation is more painful; it’s more difficult. Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity.
If we, the Church of God, mean what we profess, and truly wish that all people give God a second chance - including those whom the Church has wounded deeply - then we come practice reconciliation, not just acceptance.  God has called us to tear down the wall erected to keep "those people" out. That is our job.

Go read the post; you'll be glad you did. And make sure to read the followup post here.

Photo Credit: Michelle maladjustedmedia.com.