We Did It!

October 10th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Keith Phillips

Today’s scripture: Luke 23:26-43 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

Sometimes when I think of the image of the crucifixion, I see Matthew Shepard’s broken body on a kind of cross, abandoned outside of town. Both men, Jesus and Matthew, were innocent victims of a society that freely and publicly discriminates against and does violence to those who do not meet its expectations of what is “right.”  Both men, Jesus and Matthew, suffered to the point of death not because they’d done something horrifically wrong, but because they were different and because of the unwillingness of others to accept them/us as they/we are.

I am sad, I am pained to the quick when I think of the deaths of both Jesus and Matthew. There were no reports of the gruesome agony of Matthew, and the gospel writer, Luke, does not dwell on the torment of Jesus, either. But all so senseless.

Recently, in a sermon Pastor Jeff told the story of Opie on the Andy Griffith Show many years ago. A bully had been taking his lunch money every day, and he had been asking Deputy Barney Fife to lend him the replacement cash. Barney discovered what was going on and reported this to Sheriff Andy, Opie’s dad. Now, the father/sheriff could have taken things into his own hands and put the fear of God into this bully, but he told Opie that he would need to handle it himself. Later, Opie excitedly returns to his father’s sheriff office, covered with mud and grass stains and with a black eye and a bloody nose. Thrilled with what happened, he celebrates, “I did it, Dad, I did it! I didn’t know I could do it, but I did it!”

At his death I see Jesus approaching the throne of our heavenly Father in the same way: “I did it, Dad, I did it! I didn’t know I could do it, but I did it!”

And I pray that someday, hopefully not too far off, our culture will be freed from its homophobia; and  we who know what it is to be marginalized, who are outside of society’s good graces, who don’t ever quite fit in, who are queer can say, for Jesus’ sake and in memory of Matthew, “We did it! We didn’t know we could do it, but we did it!”

Thought for the day: Pray for the consolation and redemption of the LGBTQ community.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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