Monday, June 29, 2015

5 Pentecost

Mark 5.21-43

+ So, this last week was an eventful one, to say the least On Friday, of course, we celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality, which was HUGE.

Also, yesterday, the Episcopal Church elected Bishop Curry as the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church—a very good choice in my humble opinion.

But, on Friday, I posted a little illustration on my Facebook page to celebrate the Supreme Court decision.

As I did, I had a well-meaning friend respond to it by private FB message.

Now, to be clear, I occasionally get these comments from people. A priest’s personal lives are, for some reason, endlessly curious and fascinating to some people. I don’t get it, but I kind of understand it.

So this friend wrote, “Fr. Jamie, I love that you posted the rainbow baner on your FB page, but I need to be honest about something and I feel bad even sharing this. To me, it seems like these issues don’t really involve someone like you…”

Someone like me??? I’m not sure what that means, but ok…

“…by that, I mean you’re a single priest. I grew up with only celibate priests and the always seemed so asexual or nonsexual or whatever. I guess it was a shock to see you post it since it seems to me like these kind of issues don’t really affect you personally.”

I had to chuckle over the email a bit. And I wrote her back a very nice response.

But the fact is, that yes, there is kind of a drawback of being a single priest in the church these days. People seem to think issues like marriage equality—or marriage in general, for that matter—don’t really matter to people “like me.”

But the fact is, it does. No matter who I am or what I am—whether I ever get married one day or not—the Supreme Court decision on Friday affects all of us. And not just as Americans. It affects all of us as Christians.

Why? Because it’s about equality. It’s about the fact that in, in Christ, we are all equal. In Christ, we are not male or female, gay or straight or…asexual? We are human. Equal humans. Fully loved and fully accepted by the God we love and worship.

A few years ago, when James and William were married and I was honored not only to stand up as one of their witnesses, but also hosted their reception t the Rectory, I shared this story. I said, in my toast, that for someone like James, who played all those weddings all those years, he no doubt never thought there would be a day when he too would be able to experience the joy of being truly and legally married. And now it has happened. That is a kind of miracle—a miracle that James and William can no doubt attest to.   

Fifteen years ago, five years ago, what happened Friday seemed like a million years away. But now, here is it. And because it is, here we are, celebrating. All of us.

This is what is like to rise from what seems like to death into a new and wonderful life.

That is what we are experiencing today in the story of Jairus’ daughter.

The joy he felt at the miracle of his daughter coming back from the dead is what many of us are feeling right now. This us true joy that what seemed like something dead—or unreal or beyond our reach—is now real and alive.

Resurrection comes in many forms in our lives and if we wait them out these moments will happen. What happened on Friday was a kind of resurrection moment. It was a miracle.

So, in our own lives, rejoice. Whether we are gay or straight or something in between or nothing on the spectrum, let us rejoice. This resurrection, this miracle story belongs to all of us who long for equality and God’s all-encompassing love.

Let us cling to this joy this morning and let us find strength in it and hope in it. Let this joy we feel give life to our faith. If we do, those words of Jesus to the woman today will be words directed to us as well: “your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

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