This week the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional as it is a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. YES! Finally! For the LGBTQ community and their allies, this is a day of joy, of liberation, of justice! I couldn't be happier. Now the hard part...
While my congregation celebrates, (and it will be a mighty big celebration!) many of our Christian brothers and sisters are feeling angry, betrayed and fearful. There is a widening divide in the Church.
Not that there hasn't always been division in the Body of Christ. Disciples argued about theological issues from the beginning, so to hope that we will all agree 2000+ years later seems a bit idealistic. However, we are to be united as one body- Christ's hands and feet on earth.
So, in light of this momentous day, can we, as the "freed" possibly see a way to help begin the healing?
I know that's a lot to ask. And my first thought, when it comes to reaching out to the ones who have done so much to keep the LGBTQ oppressed is to cringe. Why should we? Can't we gloat a little?
I remember Paul and Silas in jail- (Acts 16) An earthquake shook them to freedom, yet once freed, they didn't run from their oppressor. Instead, they ministered to the jailer and even let him wash their wounds. (The same wounds he probably inflicted upon them.) They stayed until they could bring healing to the community
Those in the LGBTQ community have also been wounded, beaten, and sat in the stocks of injustice. Today, one small earthquake shook some of the chains loose. (Although there is still so far to go...) Yet, how do we as Christians respond after joy? How do we reach out, especially to the Christians who would have happily kept same sex folks in the stocks or injustice? In the core of their beings, many of the defenders of DOMA believe that marriage, in God's eyes is ONLY between a man and a woman; so it rubs them the wrong way theologically. How do we begin a non-arrogant, non-gloating (if that's a word) and even loving dialogue that brings about healing to all?
2 Corinthians 5:18 "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Although I may not want to hear it, reconciliation is what we are supposed to be doing... that is the work we are to be about. The task is on all of us. Can we reach out to build bridges using love and respect?
Just food for thought...