In the pre-church they argued over whether you had to become a Jew first to follow Jesus.
Human boundaries started springing up almost from day one.
Paul reminded them that rejecting their essence as a Jew or a Gentile was not the path to following Jesus.
Following Jesus, we are called to embrace our authentic selves and that of others.
We struggle to this day with this simple truth. Whether gay or straight, trans or cisgender, stranger or born in this place, we are beloved by God. Our ancestors can come from Africa or Europe, Asia or the Americas and we can still be full-fledged followers of Jesus.
Open our hearts and eyes to the path of extravagant welcome and love of Jesus. Make our actions like that of the Christ who embraces the image of God within all of us. Amen.