In today’s reading from the Bible we read about the Lord’s Call of Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-5):
”The word of the Lord came to me, saying, `Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations`”.
While these words from the Bible were addressed to the prophet Jeremiah, we can also learn something very important for all people in what was written here. Lord said that he formed Jeremiah in the womb and he knew him before he was born. This is how great is our God, we can apply this to every one of us and to the all creatures. God is the one who set us all apart, He is the one who formed all of us in the womb. Sometimes among our Christian sisters and brothers it seems that we want to hide some natural characteristics. For example being born as an LGBT+ person. As medical science knows this is a natural personal characteristic that people do not choose. Like the eye color, the body constitution, hair color, etc. A sentence from the Bible which we previously mentioned teaches us that God is the one who creates people in their mothers’ wombs. God knew if we would have blue or green eyes, or black or brown hair before we were born. The same way he knew what our sexual orientation would be and our personal characteristics. It is really sad that we live in the era of discriminative Christianity when many churches push people to change, hide or feel bad about their natural God-given sexual orientation. As a result many young people, but also some older people face problems because they have Jesus in their hearts but they feel denied by their local church. In this sermon I am inspired to share a spiritual hug in Christ to all those Christians all around the world who are victims of any kind of discrimination. For being LGBT+ or for being women or for being in the situation when facing discrimination because they do not physically appear religious enough for the local churches to be accepted. This has nothing to do with Our Lord. What the Bible teaches is that The Lord knows exactly who we are, how he formed us in our mom’s womb and he does not want us to be changed because He is the one who created us just the way we are. Whenever you feel discrimination or any kind of unacceptance know that God loves you. God never discriminates and He loves you. I would also like to mention that it is very important not to judge those churches who are discriminative. Many people there might not be aware that what they do is not christian. Many people are also victims of false discriminative doctrine. This is just to understand and not to judge. For all of us it is good to remember that the love is the only sign of having Christ. The only miracle that will last forever. As it is written in 1 Cor 13. Let us read 1 Cor 13:4-13:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
This chapter is read in the weddings or life partnership blessings. This can be considered as one of the most important lessons from the Bible. The lesson about love. As we read in the end of this chapter the greatest is love, then faith and hope. In the modern era where we live how can we know if there is Jesus in Christians? The indicator is – the love. Being real Christian without love is impossible because God is love. Our faith is all about love. If we physically appear to be super religious, wearing huge cross, holding holy books wherever we go, reading Bible all day etc. but if we do not have enough love for our neighbors, this cannot satisfy God. Being religious is helpful. But it must include love. If we judge other people, if we discriminate or if we think that we are superior toward others – then we should really think if the Christ is really present in our hearts. We should always keep on our mind that there are two biggest commandments and they are both about love. The first one – Love God and the second one – Love people. And that’s a short summary of what means being Christian.