-Rev Melissa Fain-
12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink.14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted.
1 Cor 12:12-18 CEB
Three quarters of the way there, and things are playing out pretty much how I imagined they would. I had to truly dig deep to look into some of these topics. Hopefully you did too, seeing beyond yourself into someone else. In other areas, I'm surprised by my hesitancy. I thought once I did some of those difficult subjects I'd be able to jump in to other topics easier. In reality, it has been far more difficult, and pretty much impossible.
I struggled whether I wanted to seek out one of my clergy brothers or sisters who walk this path, or if it should be me writing this. In the end, I knew the answer. I had to give voice to this because I'm not this. This is what the entire Lenten season is about, looking beyond ourselves to see God. In the same breath, I know what's at stake even beginning to bridge that gap. I know building some bridges burn others down. I have spent a decade contemplating how to walk this path with both chasms crossed. Believe me, I've lost sleep over it. Maybe this is it. Maybe not.
There are a few things I've grown into since beginning this Christian journey. A big one is grace. I had already mentioned off hand that I learn from everyone and everything. Some of those lessons come in what not to do. One of the most formative moments in my youth was a non-moment. One of the best Elders (lay leadership in my faith tradition) in the church was gay. His sexuality was never a topic, nor should it have been. He was faithful. He was dedicated. His partner went to the church too. They both sang in the choir.
This was the age of don't ask/don't tell., the amazing 90's. Everyone knew, but as long as he didn't openly proclaim it, we would all look the other way.
As I've mentioned before, setting up systems to accept through back door understandings are lines cemented into our foundations, just waiting to be tripped over and really hurt people. That's what happened in this church. This Elder felt we were beyond the lines, and he decided to be open about what we already knew.
How dare us. We were the bad guys that day. Apparently giving voice to what was already known, was the real sin. The Elder was asked to step down. They left the church, and I do not know if they found a home after what we did.
Worship is beyond sexuality. It's a moment where we are not there for our desires to be highlighted. We are there to thank God. Our nature is laid bare. We are sinners. All of us. It's God's job to decide and judge that sinfulness.
Community is within sexuality, but sexuality is not the line for admittance. Guess what? That Elder was part of the Body of Christ. We, the church, cut that foot off and threw it away. Now the church is hobbled, and we are ignoring the reason why, because we did it to ourselves. We need to realize a piece of God is lost with our actions. We need to come to Jesus with the truth, like a guilty child with her hand still in the cookie jar. We amputated part of the Body of Christ. We hobbled ourselves. God is gay.
.Pray with me:
God, help me keep the front door open for your children. Amen