I am a “cradle” Methodist which means I started attending Sunday School as soon as I could walk and sit on a chair. I attended Sunday School all though elementary school, high school and college. In addition, during high school, I attended Methodist Summer Institute, a wonderful week at a camp in the mountains complete with worship and Bible study.
When my husband and I married, we attended adult Bible classes and later, week day “Disciple Bible Classes.” I have studied the Bible, and particularly Jesus’ message, all my life. Lately I have been trying to discern what the core of Jesus’ message is to me? I ask myself, what is the most important theology Jesus wants me to believe and practice in my life? I have come to entitle this idea as “There Is No Us and Them.” God is love; God wants us to love each other as God loves us. God wants us to treat others as we would want others to treat us. This means it doesn’t matter what color someone’s skin is, whether their hair is straight or kinky, what language they speak, what their ethnic background is, whether they are male or female, what their sexual orientation is, whether they are rich or poor, what political party they identify with, what religion they profess or whether they have any religious beliefs at all. There are many differences in the human species, but that does not matter to God because they are all God’s children and must be treated as such.
Therefore, I can no longer place people in a category of “Us and Them.” There is only us! When I ponder this idea and pray about it, I realize it is not an easy theological concept to live with and practice. However, I have come to believe it is the core of my belief in God and Jesus’ message. This also means I must continue to work for justice, striving to eliminate the idea and category of “them.” This is what I have been doing, and plan to do, for the rest of my days.