By Rev. Marty Levesque
Diocesan clergy and laity joined more than 500 other Londoners on Saturday, August 26th, to send a clear message: diversity is strength, love trumps hate, God’s grace has no limitation.
We marched towards London City Hall with Bishop Linda’s words in our hearts and on our minds: “In the midst of the current political and cultural divisions we are to hold fast to the Gospel of Jesus and the Two Greatest Commandments: love God with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength and love our neighbours as ourselves. This includes not only refugees seeking asylum but also those who try to spread a message of discrimination and tolerance.”
This was an important message for us to carry to the counter-protest. This was a Gospel message that is replete with examples from scripture. “Remember the alien for you were once an alien in the land” (Ex 22:21), the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37); “Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44); and “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28).
So we stood as a visible symbol of Christ’s love in the world for all: for refugees, for those of different faith traditions, and for those on the other side of the protest. We saw them not as adversaries, but as brothers and sisters who are also in need of God’s grace. It was this message, the Christian message and the heart of the Gospel that we will heal the world with and help bring about the Kingdom of God, one demonstration at a time.