Here are thoughts to consider when attempting to grasp the tragedy in Orlando.

The Bible – the book that we Christians say we follow – says God is love (1 John 4:7-12). That verse doesn’t say God likes love. It doesn’t say he approves of love. He actually is love. So when one man loves another, my Bible tells me that actually is God.

When my gay friends love, they participate in the same thing I do when I love. That is the God I believe in: the one of grace. The one that is love. And when we (whether gay or straight) love we are born of God. That is our scripture and that should be our message. Instead we have twisted our own scripture to assist in breeding an arrogant culture of hate under the guise of reaching “the lost”.

I’d like to see that end. Grace should rule above all else, for that is what makes everything possible, anyway. Under grace, nothing is ever really lost. Under grace, our church visions and efforts go beyond their elementary thoughts and actions because the mission changes from condemnation (often subtle, but condemnation nonetheless) to love. It is possible. Together we can offer hope, participate in one love, give grace where there is none. That is the message of Jesus.