"This life-changing work of the Spirit has been going on for a long, long time. St. Peter was horrified, in his dream about eating 'unclean' food, to hear God saying, 'Don't be so picky about what people eat! Care more about what's in their hearts. My Word is broader and deeper than that, and I am going to be calling people unto me whom you have thought were unacceptable in my eyes. But you've been wrong, and I'm going to show you a different way.'

"Is there any doubt in your mind that the Holy Spirit is alive and well, even now, and calling the church to open itself to all those whom Jesus loves? We don't worship a God who is all locked up in scripture two thousand years ago, but a God whose love knows no human bounds. The Spirit of God longs for, yearns for, and even demands that there cease to be 'us' and 'them.'

"God calls us to the hard work of compassion for our enemies. Some people may quarrel with that characterization, but we do have enemies. It's a word that Jesus used. The hard part is following Jesus' own command to love our enemies. Not to like them, not to be paralyzed by their opposition, not to give in to their outrageous demands, but to love them nevertheless. To treat them with infinite respect, listen to what drives them, try our best to understand the fear that causes them to reject us, to believe them when they say they only want the best for us. That's hard work, and we can't do it without God's own Spirit blowing through us like wind, breaking down our walls, causing our assumptions to 'come loose,' and reminding us that our enemies too are children of God, for whom Christ died and through whom they will be saved."