In response to the recent teen suicides and bullying in connection with homosexuality the Hanover College Chapel Community came together in order to stand against hatred. I along with a few others wrote a statement to read during our commitment service. We were asked to write a statement about what God's love is and what that means for this community. So here is my statement about God's love and how it can and will transform this community. For all of those who have been bullied, tortured, unloved...God is love, and God does love, and God's people will love.
God’s love is a gift for all people that tears down the walls hatred has built. It is in each and every person represented here today for we have all been created in the image of God. God’s love is exemplified when we as a community refuse to be an exclusive group catering to our own needs. God’s love holds all of us together in perfect unity. God’s love stands against bullying and hate to say you are worth more than anyone can imagine for you are created in my image and loved by me. God’s love pulls a community together to say that those who hurt others are wrong, and it calls the community to commit to being the voice that pierces the silence, being a light in the darkness, being hope to the hopeless, and a friend to the lonely. God’s love is not just for me, or just for you, but God’s love is God’s love because it is for all of humankind.
When this community stands together in God’s love to proclaim to our brothers and sisters that hate speech and bullying are unacceptable in this place, on this campus, and in our presence then the world will come to know what God's love really looks like. When this community refuses to be silent all will feel welcome, all will know they have a place at the table, and all will feel included in the great mysteries of our faith. When this community says enough is enough to our world and claims itself as God's love in this place we build a bond that cannot be broken by hate.
God's love does not simply allow us to be silent but instead God’s love calls us to stand up and stand in opposition to hate. God's love puts an end to childish ways of excluding those who are not like us and who do not agree with us. God's love opens our hearts and our minds to see the world from someone else's perspective. God's love rejoices here and now as we stand together against hate, against treating human beings with disrespect, and God's love moves the mountains of injustice that we have seen in our world.