Wow, I am publishing another blog post within the same month!! Crazy.
So, I went on a retreat in Washington earlier this month with some clergy peeps and we had a great time. One thing that I was introduced to (or really reintroduced) was Celtic Christianity/Spirituality. If you do not know, there is some argument over what constitutes Celtic Christianity in history and weather or not modern versions of it are truly Celtic, but the main thing to get out what I have been looking at is the same thing that made Celtic Christianity stand out from the main church (Roman Church, that most American Protestantism stems from in some form).
Anyway, the very basic idea of this is to see the sacredness in the world around us, in nature, in creation, in each other. Now, this focus on sacredness is actually what got several church leaders removed from the Roman Church, because when you see the sacredness in creation and in other humans, it takes away "power"(such as what an empire would use to control people). But, if you really look at the life of Jesus, how often did Jesus use his power? and in what ways? Jesus used his voice to stand against oppressive systems that put people down (Women, sick, children), and this, to me, seems like the very practice of seeing and acknowledging the sacredness of others and of creation.
So what am I getting at? Well, I believe that it is important for us to see and acknowleding the sacred if we are to try and live Christ-like lives. If you know me well, you will know that I am rather invested in the month of June, which is Pride month. If you are unsure as to why, it is because I am Gay. Now, often I get people thinking that my social experience informs my faith, but I struggled with believing in Jesus and realizing that I was attracted to guys. It took quite some time, some self loathing and a lot of prayer before I had a moment when I felt God and a great feeling of knowing that I am apart of God's beloved creation. It was a freeing experience that brought back my feeling connected to God and Jesus ten fold. The sad part is, not everyone is as lucky as I am.
There are many people, both in the LGBTQIA+ community and outside of it that have grown up in churches that have given them a lot of self loathing and even a fear of going to church or a feeling of being less than God's beloved. It is in this understanding of there being so many people who have had negative experiences of being turned away from Jesus, from the very people who should be inviting people to Jesus' table, that it makes me quite sad and quite invigorated in how I move forward with my ministry. Despite that fact that it may make some uncomfortable, the fact that it will upset people, I need to preach a Gospel of Love and Grace, a Gospel that tries to break down the barriers between humans and their creator, the barriers that try to separate humans from creation.
I hope that the spirit moves in you to open yourselves up to what God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit have in store for us, God's beloved. I hope you will join me in the effort to make sure EVERYONE knows they are welcome at the table, because Jesus Loves us and we are Gods Beloved. See the sacredness in your life and let your spirit overflow into the world around you.