As I read Michael Bayly's account of the gathering of people of faith in Minnesota on the eve of today's House vote on marriage equality, I'm struck by the contrast between his Catholic witness to the gospels and that of my bishops in the USCCB. As I noted in a posting yesterday, my bishops in the USCCB want Catholics across the U.S. to pray, fast, and sacrifice in the hope that the Supreme Court will uphold laws singling out a targeted minority for discrimination.
As Michael notes, the people of faith from many religious traditions who gathered yesterday at Christ on Capitol Hill Lutheran church in St. Paul came together to pray that the circle of God's love be drawn wider, so that no one is left outside. They gathered to "pray into being a new reality"--a new reality of wider love, wider inclusion, wider justice.
Which of the two visions for the church represents what Jesus stood for, embodied, and proclaimed in his preaching about the coming reign of God, I ask myself? Whichever of those two visions is an expression of Jesus's proclamation of God's reign, in which the last will be first, the poor lifted up, the prisoner set free, and the chains of the oppressed broken: that's the vision I need to stand with.
Otherwise, I may find myself standing where Jesus himself does not stand.
The video: the choir of the Church of the Redeemer, Morristown, NJ, singing Mark Miller's "Draw the Circle" wide in March 2010.