Each child was given a t-shirt with this image on it to celebrate diversity.

This past Sunday we are St. George’s held one of our quarterly Family Services which featured the kids of the parish. It’s a pretty loose service, and always enjoyable. The Gospel for that Sunday (celebrating Christ the King) was Luke 23:33-43 which tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.

I asked the kids and the adults an important theological question saying that we can pretty much understand the answer as to why Jesus died, but has anyone asked why he was killed? I went on to suggest that Jesus was killed because he was different, totally different that all the people around him, and this made others nervous. When people are surrounded with high anxiety, one way to bring down the anxiety level is to remove teachings, or the person. In Jesus’ case, the result was bullying him to death. Jesus taught outside the box, and this was unacceptable.

The symptom of getting rid of the person who is different resulted in Jesus being publicly condemned, and executed. Bullying manifested itself by soldiers gambling for his clothing, scoffing at him, insulting and mocking him in ways to strip every ounce of dignity. I went on to suggest that this is the goal of many people who bully others, and when we bully others, we are guilty as the people we heard about in the Gospel reading.

I then shared a story by Bernard Most entitled, The Cow that went Oink.

One day there was a young cow who could only oink. All the other animals in the barnyard made fun of him, laughing at him each time the cow went OINK instead of MOO. The young cow was so ashamed that he withdrew from the others, and cried.

One day, as the cow that went oink was sitting by himself he heard a friendly sounding MOO, looked over and saw a pig! A pig that goes MOO he thought?

As time when on, the cow that went oink, decided to teach the pig to go OINK, and the pig did the same. The two different animals taught each other their sound, and when they were through, the cow and the pig knew two sounds each….and when they returned to the barn yard, they had a much larger vocabulary than all the other animals. What had started out as a bad thing, turned into a good.

Jesus, though his ministry constantly calls each and every one of us to mann søker mann i Fagernes welcome the cow that goes oink, and to learn from them. Jesus in his earthly ministry brought together different people from every walk of life, and religious background into conversation founded in the love of God.

Jesus, though bullied and killed, with God, was about to take something bad, and turn it into a good that would revolutionize the world. God took death, and turned it upside down. Jesus was killed because he was different. Jesus died so that God could make love known to all people on the earth.