From Christ’s fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. — John 1:16-18
Yesterday The ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted the sexuality social statement. This Bible passage above comes from today’s Liberating Word daily devotion. What a coincidence. The passage of this social statement is all about grace. Below is an excerpt from today’s devotion that just sums it all up for me.
… How tragic it is that the Church has spent so much time and energy putting up fences and deciding who is in and who is out when the Bible says through Jesus came grace for all—grace upon grace; no conditions, no limits, no exclusions, noexceptions. It has always been my suspicion that disciples of Jesus are so prone to placing limits on the grace of God because we have such limited experience of that grace ourselves…
What does the passage of this social statement mean? Perhaps the most important thing for me is the validation that gay people can live in loving, committed relationships. Attempts to weaken the statement by limiting marriage to a man and a woman were repeatedly struck down during debate. The delegates held firm to an inclusive stance toward marriage and love. Unable to watch the webcast, I read numerous reports. I was moved when I read Bishop’s Eaton’s support at the microphone. Thank you Bishop Eaton.
For those unfamiliar with church proceedings, this is the first step to LGBT inclusiveness. Now that the statement has been adopted, it will be implemented through resolutions on Friday. The one of the most interest to me is the sanctioning of same sex marriage by the ELCA. Also on Friday, there will be a vote on whether to recognize non-celibate monogamous same sex partnered pastors as pastors in the ELCA.
Pray that grace upon grace will be on those in assembly.