Given by Rev. Madison Shockley October 10, 2021

Our reading tells the story of the separating of people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Jesus is not dividing but drawing attention to what kind of person we are. When a person, organization, nation, or government opposes the full equality of queer people, they create a gulf between themselves and the queer community. This is a division we did not create but call attention to it so action can be taken. When we do this, we can be accused of causing division. This is not true. All we want is action. What side you are on is up to you. Live your life so you end up on the right side with God. If we want unity with our LGBTQ+ members, we need to leave our segregated churches according to Brian Murphy. You should see Jesus in all your brothers and sisters. Jesus declared that welcoming the stranger is a blessed act. It is the hardest and most dangerous act. A stranger is one who is casted out, excluded, and unwanted, just as our LGBTQ+ siblings can be. You welcome their pain and trauma. You welcome their danger. Those excluded will be included in God’s Empire. Stand with the outcasts.