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25 March 2010

Holy Mary Mother of God

The word of God to the Blessed Virgin and to us...
Zephaniah 3:14 Sing aloud, daughter of Zion; 
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice daughter and exult with all your heart, 
daughter of Jerusalem!
15 THE JUDGE OF ALL FLESH has taken away the judgments against you daughter,
and has turned away your enemies daughter.
The sovereign of Israel,  
THE RULER OF THE HEAVENS AND EARTH,
is in your midst daughter; 
you shall fear disaster no more daughter.
16 …Do not fear daughter, daughter of Zion; 
do not let your hands grow weak.
17 THE EVER-PRESENT ONE, your God, 
is in your midst daughter, a warrior who gives victory;
Who will rejoice over you with gladness daughter, 
and will renew you in love daughter;
Who will exult over you daughter with loud singing
18 As on a day of festival, I will remove disaster from you daughter, 
so that you will not bear reproach for it daughter.
19 I will deal with all your oppressors at that time daughter.
And I will save the lame and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

17 March 2010

Queer Church

Recently, I had the great privilege to minister in a MCC church. The Metropolitan Community Church is a denomination that was founded in part in reaction to the exclusion, abandonment, excommunication and rejection of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians and their families. It has become a sanctuary for all those on the margins, their families, friends and allies regardless of gender, gender performance, sexual orientation, HIV status, race, ethnicity or any other category used for divisive purposes.

In that congregation I found elderly nurses who had served on the front lines of the AIDs war in the '80's who wanted a spiritual home in a place where those for whom they card so deeply were not only welcome but cherished. I found former addicts and sex workers who were welcomed into the congregation before they made life affirming, altering or sustaining changes in their lives. I found retired Roman Catholic priests living out their days in a space that afforded them integrity that they could not find in their home denomination. I found the parents and siblings and children of queer folk who had finally found a congregation where they could join their loved ones in receiving the sacraments. I found retired protestant pastors and their wives who sought and found a sacred space where "love" was not a cliché and hate was nowhere to be found. I found scholars of religion who were not ashamed to cast their lot with an upstart gay church. I found heterosexual and homosexual Christians who were passionately committed to their church, their God and each other. There were also folk who were profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve in any capacity in the house of God. Their faith, joy and sense of wonder were achingly beautiful. And I found suffering souls who had never been in a holy space where people like them made up the overwhelming majority.

I found God in that place and loved her fiercely and was loved fiercely by her in return.

01 March 2010

Envisioning God

She's got the whole world in her hands.
In the year of the great earthquakes, I saw the earth, high and lifted up, resting on the palms of God.
I saw the hands of God, many armed, each hand framing, supporting, blessing this fragile, tearing, earth island. Our Mother is a fierce Protectrix.
I saw myself curled and resting in her hand, on foot dangling from her fingers, swinging over the edge of the abyss. I was safely unaware of anything outside of her hand.
I looked and saw other souls safe in her embrace: on her forearm, shoulder and lap. Where first I saw one, I saw a thousand and then a number without counting. A world of people, kept safe in the divine embrace. 
And I went back to sleep.
May that peace envelope all the homeless, frightened, shaken souls crying out in pain.