It’s taken me a long time, and a lot of struggles, to come to the “why” of why I follow Jesus. It’s not always been the easiest journey for me, but, now, I feel like I’m finally in a place where I’m ready to start following Him.
As a member of the GLBT community, it’s not always been easy for me to find a place where I could worship openly and honestly. With this perspective, it reminds me of a song from Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The title of the song is “God Help the Outcasts.”
I think the reason this song resonates with me so much is that I’m an outcast. I’ve felt this way all my life. The following lyrics resonate with me even more:
“Yes, I know I’m just an outcast
I shouldn’t speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?
God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don’t find on Earth
Please help my people
We look to you still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will”
This song reminds me of how Jesus didn’t hang out with the popular people. He hung out with the outcasts – the tax collectors, the sinners, the poor, the sick, the ones who truly needed him.
I attended another church once and the pastor spoke about the time that Jesus cast out the moneychangers out of the temple. I never understood that story until this pastor explained it. The reason Jesus was so upset is thatt the moneychangers were set up in the area of the temple where the people who were deemed “unclean” by the religious standards of the day could go and worship. They couldn’t worship on the days the moneychangers were in the temple. This is why Jesus was so angry. He was fighting for the outcasts.
In Matthew 25: 34-40, Jesus states:
34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[g] you did it to me.’
All of us are outcasts at some point in our lives. We need to remember this. I need to remember this.
I follow Jesus because I am an outcast and He loves me. Because He loves me, I need to show other’s His love. Jesus says that all the commandments hang on the following 2 commandments he gave, “36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'” (Matthew 22: 36-40)
So, for me, an outcast, to follow Jesus, I must also love all the outcasts. I must love everyone as he loves me.