Easter 4 – Year A
1 Peter 2:19-25
It is small comfort, but sometimes the only comfort there is, when we suffer for doing what is right – spreading table for enemies and being generous with family (note parallelism so enemies and family can be interchanged).
As the United Methodist Church approaches yet another General Conference, GLBTQ persons who have devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers, still find themselves suffering within the family (which has turned enemy). There is no credible suggestion that this will change in 2008.
This is sad for our GLBTQ family members and it is sad because their continuing to be hospitable toward those who hurt them does not lead others to offer their goodwill toward the church who is hurting them. The result is that, day-by-day, we find more and more people not being added to the number of those finding new hope and health through the witness of Jesus (take a look at the drop in percentage of "christians" measured against the population).
It is time to no longer take Peter's advice about putting up with injustice, particularly for some false unity. He notes what Jesus didn't do but falls short on what Jesus did do – revealed in his body the injustice of the dominating system of state and religious institutions, was proactive in bonding community to itself as a non-blood-based family, and trusted his vision of being beloved when others did their best to humiliate him.
We are not called to be a single sheep led to the slaughter, but a union of blessed people doing what needs to be done even in the face of injustice.