If you read between the lines of this week's text you'll find these words of Jesus:
anyone who comes to me I will never drive away...I should lose nothing of all that he has given me...Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.
This is of course a tenant of Lutheran faith... there is nothing we can do that will secure our own salvation and more importantly nothing we can do to screw it up. If only those who followed Jesus could utter these words to those they disagree with. What if instead of chiding each other we had to affirm each other.
Dear Fred Phelps, (insert whomever you disagree with theologically) I am so glad that regardless of the vile things you do that nothing can separate you from the love of God(dess), just as nothing I do could ever separate me from the love of God(dess).
What if we could not dismiss or disown others? This means that we cannot get rid of or abandon those who are no longer profitable, we cannot step over those who sleep on the sidewalks, we cannot abandon those in need of health care or ignore the hungry.
And this spiritual quest lasts forever. Yikes, that could change who we see as our neighbor. I'm not sure what would be scarier, if we held ourselves to this standard or our enemy!