Risking the Brokenness of the Physique, Aspect two

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The chapel at Mount Calvary Retreat Home overlooking Santa Barbara

When
I was finishing my initial book, Uncommon
Calling
, I took my typewriter and my manuscript to Mount Calvary for two
weeks. Right here I worked on the final chapter, recounting the painful defeat of
efforts to get ordination of gays and lesbians in my denomination and
describing the which means of that defeat for me.
As
I wrote, I identified deeply buried grief and discomfort and anger resurrected inside me.
Also, the know-how that I had but to come across a publisher for my book haunted me.
I wondered if anybody even wanted to hear my story. I took my lots of feelings into
my prayer life through my operating retreat, praying for understanding, for
resolution, and for healing from these overpowering and painful feelings.
I
started to appear far more intently at the crucifixes on the walls in Mount Calvary,
specially the one particular carved of wood in the chapel. Monasticism has deeply
influenced my spiritual life, but I had formerly maintained a Reformed dislike
for the contemplation of Christ’s suffering on the cross. These who contemplate
it are probably to duplicate it, it had seemed to me. And I presented hearty
Protestant applause to these who avoided crosses and lived “Easter lives,” or,
improved but, to these who took action that removed the crosses of other individuals so that
they may well reside out the resurrection.
Reviewing
and editing my manuscript, my book seemed to me to be filled with crosses for
myself and other individuals. I had enjoyed my life, my ministry, and even the church. Why
did the cross overshadow my joy? Probably I had avoided contemplating crucifixes
due to the fact I had witnessed also lots of crucifixions of lesbian and gay Christians in
the church.
For the duration of
one particular morning’s Eucharist, as Christ’s physique was broken and Christ’s blood was
spilled once again, I looked toward the
figure of Jesus on the cross above the sacrament. What I witnessed at that
moment may perhaps prove offensive to some: rather of just seeing a limp and
lifeless physique, I saw One particular who was relaxed.
The goodness of the crucifixion dawned on me. Jesus surrendered his will to
God’s. He trusted God.
I
believed of my personal spiritual have to have to unwind, trust God, to be loving rather than
controlling. If God can make sense out of Jesus’ suffering and render him the
victor, then gay Christians may perhaps take hope that our suffering is not in vain. We
can fulfill our prophetic ministry, no matter what other individuals may perhaps do to us. Our
crucifixion is their final resort, not
God’s.
Each
closet and each and every church requires a crucifix. It is time for lesbian and gay
Christians to contemplate Christ’s suffering, for it reminds us that God
suffers with us. It is time for Protestants to get these bodies back on our
fairly, empty crosses, for it will hyperlink us to the suffering of these who are
getting crucified currently. It is time for all Christians to take seriously that the
church as the Physique of Christ ought to continually danger the brokenness of that physique
to do what is appropriate.
I
think that Jesus on the cross calls lesbian and gay Christians to danger the
brokenness of our bodies, in order to fulfill a prophetic ministry with the
church. I think that Jesus on the cross calls the church to danger the
brokenness of its physique to fulfill its pastoral ministry with gays and lesbians.
Our Christian faith assures us that, no matter how complicated it will be,
fulfilling these calls leads to resurrection.
This and final week’s posts
are excerpts from the chapter “Risking the Brokenness of the Body” from my 1990
book
Come Household! Reclaiming Spirituality and Neighborhood as Gay Guys and Lesbians, published by Harper &amp Row, with added
chapters in its 1998 Second Edition, published by Chi Rho Press. These excerpts
match effectively the themes of the present season of Lent. Currently, of course, I would
add transgender, intersex, and bisexual people today.

West Hollywood Presbyterian Church on retreat at Mount Calvary Retreat Home
(See if you can come across me!)

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