I was just reflecting after a day of sermon writing, about how unhelpful labels are, especially 'Churchmanship'. I started out thinking about how useless such labels were as they didn't tell nearly half the story - I went on to think how they didn't translate to other cultures (even where the common language spoken is all that divides) - I then went on to think rather sadly about how often the label is used to damn someone because of their associations.
I remembered a Man who got crucified for associating with with Prostitutes and Tax Collectors - and how now we his followers anathematize those who either label themselves as or associate with 'Liberals' 'Evangelicals' 'Catholics' (yes sadly, it still Does go on).
St Paul ( a bit of a hate figure himself amongst some of the crucified guys followers ) once said 'To the pure all things are pure' - I think that this means that The Pure One will associate with anyone.
I Remember a some years ago listening to a Powerful poem written about Easter - it may have come from the Iona Community or a fellow trainee vicar - I can't remember, but perhaps someone may put me right. The refrain went along the lines of 'How far will you go, Jesus' as each verse moved him closer to Calvary. I think the question those who scorned him asked was 'How Low will you go?' - I guess that's the question he's asking us.
His invitation may well be
Want to be clean? Come join me in the 'Dirt'