Thursday, June 21, 2012

Erotic Pride Before God (Psalm 134)

Come and bless Adonai,
                                all you who serve Our God,
                                ministering by night in God’s house!
                Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
                                and bless Adonai!
                May you be blessed from Zion
                                by the One who made heaven and earth!
Psalm 134

Sermon on the Mount (from Ecce Homo), Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin
During Pride month I ponder the place of queer people in the congregation of God worshipers. In the face of traditional and ongoing discrimination by religious bodies I can scarcely believe that this invitation to come and bless and to be blessed is for me. If I come will the door be open? If I bless will hearts be receptive? As one who is among those cast out and silenced, how shall I respond to this invitation?

There is an intrinsic fear among the various spiritual expressions toward queer folk. It is the fear that trans-les-bi-gay-intersex-asexuals and allies transgress the purity of the congregation. We who seek out forbidden pleasure are polluted by our sexual "proclivities." Our impure presence reflects upon others casting our “shame” beyond ourselves and onto all we associate with. As those in ancient times, we are made to feel that we should shout “Unclean! Unclean!” in order to give time for heterosexuals to flee unscathed.

People like us are rarely granted entrance to the assembly of the Sacred. Our presence may contaminate and make profane that which is holy. Often we find the door to the divine barred.

Outlawed, this invitation to come and bless is strange. It is for me an invitation to come with all my taboo desires in order that I might authentically participate in the life of the Spirit. If I am to genuinely bless God then I must enter sacred space with Pride. I must bring with me the fullness of what I am so that I might be fully present to the Holy.

Queer people do not bless God by denying the rich and varied sexual expressions we are drawn too. We celebrate God by taking joy in our eroticism before the Holy. Like the barren couple now blessed with child, we offer our sexuality to the Sacred as a proud benediction upon the One who is the source and sustainer of life.

By celebreting our expressions of love and pleasure in the sacred place of God’s dwelling we enjoy the days which come from the Hand of Life. In receiving this gift we find ourselves blessed by the Maker of heaven and earth, who celebrates our Pride.

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