June 1st is "Blogging for LGBT families day" and in light of my calling (as an Episcopal priest), I chose to blog within the context of Trinity Sunday.
John 15:26 - 16:6
26”When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
16”I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. 2They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. 3And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. 4But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts."
I don't usually begin blog posts with a portion of the Gospel for the day. But today, as I contemplate the Trinity, I also find myself contemplating our own little trinity of Mama, Mommy and baby.
And, in light of the reading I find myself contemplating a worldly truth--"an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God." This is not to say that I fear for our lives--whilst our home state is not the most progressive of places we are surrounded by great neighbors and a loving community--it is to say that I am all too aware that there are folks in this world who would gladly and righteously persecute us because we are a lesbian couple raising a child together. Further, the persecution would be labeled as being in "God's name". I am also aware that persecution doesn't necessarily mean physical assault...it can also mean the insidious nature of powers and principalities that believe that it is appropriate and faithful to with-hold legal protections from families like ours.
"and they will do this because they have not know the Father or me"Okay, feel free to accuse me of proof texting. But, I do believe that the foundation of the Gospel is love and therefore my interpretation here is based in this loving center and in my understanding of baptism. Bigotry, persecution, exclusion, intolerance and hatred stem from a place of not recognizing the loving God in our midst. In the baptismal covenant, as found in The Book of Common Prayer, we are asked to "seek and serve Christ in all persons". This includes LGBT folk as well as everyone else.
So, if we cannot see Christ in each other (and ourselves) we fail to recognize the truth that the Gospel proclaims on this Trinity Sunday--Christ is in our midst. God binds together my own family and is our center. God calls us to advocate for each other, to be Christ's hands and feet in the world.
Further, we are called to be known..."they do this because they do not know". Do those who seek to persecute us, who feel that it is a moral good to deny us and our baby full and equal rights even know us? Do they know who we are, do they know the GLBT folk in their own families, their own communities, their own churches/mosques/synagogues? Do they know that in their persecution they attack people who they could come to love, or love already?
And, by this I don't mean "love the sinner hate the sin". By this, I mean that they love us as we already are...as God made us and meant us to be. Who, in knowing our baby (with his bald little noggin, chubby feet and rubber band wrists) could hate him and the love that brought him to be? Who in knowing our devotion to him, could deny our right to raise him with love or our right to teach him to uphold his own baptismal covenant (which we will speak on his behalf a few months from now)? Who?
Now, don't answer that question. I am sure there are people who could. And, we plan on protecting him (as much as we are able) from those folks. But, there are folks who persecute out of their own ignorance--out of a place of believing that LGBT folk are "other" and are not part of their communities. Out of a place of not knowing the truth of God's love for all, regardless.
So, on this Trinity Sunday and in anticipation of blogging for LGBT families day...it is my prayer that we will all come know and be knownn and that our love will be recognized in truth and in wholeness. And, that we will all be prepared to advocate for those who are persecuted. So be it.