Sunday, April 5, 2009

Not just the PC(USA)

It's easy to think the ratification of 08-B is just about the PC(USA). Yes, this will change the church, something the reformed tradition is as committed to as it often struggles with. We are familiar with the dynamics of change - its joys and its sorrows and everything else that goes with it.

However, we are not just guided by the joy or the sorrow change will bring, but the deep knowledge that God's call to love and welcome one another cannot be ignored. We follow that love, not the celebration or the disappointment. We follow God's call to us, inching along until our own faith is tested - and then we act, hopefully, in love - removing any boundary to God, no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable that may be. What other choice could we have than be faithful to God's call?

When we remove these obstacles to unity and healing, many of us will enter into somewhat unfamiliar territory with each other. We will have been nudged together by the wide arms of God around our shoulders, bringing us close enough so that we can see God through one another's eyes, honoring God's presence in each other rather than our differences, wondering what took us so long.

When we get to this place, and we will, its effect will be considerably more than we could imagine. We will become heralds of God to a world that is broken by the differences used to define one another for human purposes, only. No longer will see one another as LGBT/Q or straight. In that great blinding presence of God, we will be just that - in the presence of God, together, as one - just as we are now. The difference? At this moment, many are too afraid to be blinded to our differences by such love and presence. What are we afraid of, anyway? Imagine, just imagine if we became that light to the world. How different and healed a world it would be. There should be no fear in such a call...

There is no question that we will one day eliminate G-6.0106b, whether it is this year or the next. And when it happens, we will step into that light together, as never before. Maybe that is frightening for some, if only because old fears will have to go. For many of us, it is the Wonder and Majesty of God that has been waiting for us to move with God, not with our fears.

There is a post-B world, one that is filled with healing, unity, and witness to God on a universal basis. It is wonderful to think that maybe, just maybe God has given us this time and challenge to bring God's love to more than just this church. Maybe we have been given this struggle to move more closely together. Perhaps we are the change agents in this new thing God is doing. Knowing that God is never about exclusion, we have but one real choice - to find a way to welcome and include each other. As individuals and as a church we have to find a way to welcome the LGBT/Q community into the full work and worship of the PC(USA) - or we will have failed in honoring God, in all the diverse and wonderful ways God is. It may take a while longer, but we cannot fail in such a way.

The ratification of 08-B is about faith and a leap of such faith into the light and love of God. We have to be ready for such a thing...

May this Holy Week be a time of great seeking and presence for all in God's grace and love. As we know again the Passion of Jesus and the indescribable sorrow our fears continue to produce, let us let go of the distance between us. Let us give up the fear on one another. Let us invite the world to join us in the fullness and unity that is ours to accept - if we can just accept one another.