There is a story that Karl Barth, one of the great theologians of the Twentieth Century, was once asked: “If you could summarize into one sentence, all the great thoughts of theology that you have read and studied over the years, what would that be?” Barth thought for a moment, and then replied: “Jesus loves me, this I know; for the bible tells me so.” As I thought about that, I wondered about the theme that had become my own expression of faith. I believe my first sermon was preached when I was a child of about four years old. I can still picture myself in our back yard, swinging away and singing with all my might for everyone to hear:
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
This LOVE of Jesus for all people, all beings, overrides all other aspects of my faith. I love the diversity among people and all of creation. My heart rejoices with God: “It is good. It’s all good.” I love the variety of ways in which we worship throughout the world. Yet, in the wider vision of humanity, our unique and individual ways are all woven together into a tapestry of ONE. This is the great and wondrous story I have to tell. This is my song.
I tell you this, dear readers, because you may wonder at the diversity of the things I have to say. My appreciation for inclusivity has, at times, raised eyebrows, but this is who I am and who I must be.
I like the word adiaphora within my faith tradition. My theology is neo-orthdox down the middle, but adiaphora allows the freedom to express my faith in a variety of ways as I creatively imagine the infinite expressions of God acting within all beings throughout the world.