December 2, 2022
If you have been checking out service the last couple of weeks, you will have noticed a common theme of trying to reconcile the reality of the world we live in with the world we long for.
That is because in the aftermath of yet another deadly attack on queer folk and queer space, we are beginning the season of Advent. As a follower of Jesus, I prepare to celebrate the coming of God into the world by once again reflecting on the hope, peace, joy, and love that my life in the Holy brings me. It is a time when I once again ground myself in my faith that the good in this world can overcome the bad. I once again make the choice to look for the divine in others and in the world and not be blinded by the hatred and fear that sometimes rules human hearts.
Once again though, I have also been reminded of just how powerful hatred and fear are, and how high a price those of us who are the targets of hatred and fear sometimes pay. Queer folk, racialized folk, marginalized folk – we are always at risk of being targets. Whether in small ways or in large ways, we become targets simply because of who we are.
As a believer in the way of Jesus, the way of love, I am heartbroken and angry and tired in these weeks following the shooting at Club Q. As a queer person, I am sad and exhausted and scared.
And I am outraged.
Because I was not created to be the target of someone’s fear or hatred. I was created to be loved. I was created to love. Jesus warns often in scripture that the way of love is not easy – and Jesus themselves paid the ultimate price for inviting and loving all – but I cannot believe that Jesus meant we were to be content to be targets. I know that Jesus would also be heartbroken and outraged at last week’s shooting. I know that Jesus would condemn the system that leads to this kind of violence (as well as the daily “small” attacks on our Divine image and being).
Jesus came to walk among us because of love. That little baby who was born into a world of violence and oppression came to walk among us to begin a revolution against hatred and fear. Jesus was born into this world to show us and teach us about a new way.
And now more than ever, as we were reminded last week, we need to find a new way together.
In this time of Advent and holiday preparations/pressures, I hope that you have a chance to reflect on the times you have experienced or seen good in this world. I hope that these shining moments of memory become a guiding star leading you to find faith in this sometime daunting world; faith that there is more, there is sacred, there is Divine, there is God. I hope you can look to your faith and be reminded that transformation is always possible.
This Sunday evening, we will reflect on how we can work even as we wait for the transformation of this world and of our hearts that is an integral part of the promise of the Christ Child. Please know that you are invited to join us.
Stay well, stay connected.
Yours in Christ,
Service Link: https://youtu.be/OaWdltbunBM
October 14, 2022
“So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God, for those who enter God’s rest also rest from their labors as God did from theirs. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest” ~ Hebrews 4:9-11
This week’s Sunday service is about persistence – persistence in making our voice heard, persistence in working for justice.
Persistence is a good thing for sure and something that queer folk are asked to lean into in a big way in order to live our lives as we are called to. Our history and our lives are marked by marches and protests and struggles. These are not always in big and visible ways either, our own individual lives as queer folk mean that even in the ordinary small moments of our days we have to stand up and speak out and fight for the right to be seen and heard and honored for who we are.
Persistence takes a lot out of us. And though we must persist, we must also rest.
We must rest queerly beloved. The Holy calls us to persist yes, but also to rest. There are times when we must step back and find renewal.
Rest – the idea of Sabbath – is as important a part of a healthy spiritual life as persistence. And I would argue that rest is an integral part of persistence. It is rest, time with God, time with others who support and love us, time with ourselves celebrating that which brings us peace and joy, it is rest that allows us to carry on.
Persistence in our work in the world is not possible unless we are rested.
You deserve to have time and space where you do not have to explain or educate or advocate for yourself. You deserve to have time and space where you can simply be.
Take time my friends. Take time to rest.
I hope that you join us on Sunday evening (or whenever it is that interact with the service) and I do hope that you are inspired to persist in the unique and sacred walk that we as queer folk are called to.
Just don’t forget to rest as well. The Holy wants you to speak up and stand out, yes, but more than that the Holy desires you to be rested and supported in your journey. God loves you and wants you well.
Yours in Christ,