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Posts Tagged ‘light’

Sleep has been rather elusive over the past few weeks.  Part, I suspect, to the bizarre weather and temperatures that can’t seem to decide if they are seasonal, extremely warm or extremely cool.  Part is due to two awesome honours I have been given, one of which is happening tomorrow night at the Transgender Day of Remembrance or TDoR.  The other is the Invocation prayer for the newly elected Municipal Council on the 1st of December.

The groups are quite different and the types of prayers will be quite different, but they will have one thing in common: love.

We will gather for TDoR to remember those trans* men and women who were killed.  For no other reason than they were “different”.  We live in a world that is increasingly filled with hate.  Atrocities being played out every single day and broadcast into our living rooms.  There seems to be no safe place to hide.

As a proud ally to the Rainbow community, I take these things both personally and seriously and I struggle to not be overwhelmed with the zigzag of emotions as I craft the prayer.  Many people in the Rainbow community, especially in the Trans* community have been ostracized by the Church.  They have been told horrible things, by horrible people who do NOT speak for Jesus.  And they sure as hell don’t speak for liberal-minded clergy like myself.

I believe, with all that is good and holy, that the God who created us in God’s own image, is a God of unimaginable love. A God who would love us into being…creating order from chaos.  Who with the turn of a hand separated earth from water, light from dark.  Who created us in the same image; male and female; either or neither; queer, asexual, bisexual, pansexual.  Who showed us the way to love by seeking it and seeing it in each other.

In the midst of hatred and violence, there truly is only one way to respond…with love.  I am honoured to have journeyed with many members of the local Rainbow community; some who now live in other parts of the world.  For many of them I was a final attempt at meaningful connection with God.  When you are told that you are not loved, it is often a message that goes deep into the marrow of your being.  Being told that you ARE loved takes time to penetrate past the hate.

For many people in the Rainbow community and especially in the Trans* community, they need to learn to love again. Walls go up out of necessity; if you have a high enough, deep enough wall, nobody will get through.  It takes time, patience and above all, it takes love to reach through the wall.  Love manifests itself in many ways; through trust, compassion, understanding; and if not understanding, then patience and silence.

It has been said that I pastor to a fairly conservative congregation.  And yet, I have seen them reach through concern and questioning to embrace friends from the Rainbow community.  Reaching out through love; of seeing the humanity and human dignity of each other; the face of God reflected in each other.  And seeing that is a most beautiful thing.

We will gather tomorrow night to mourn for those whose lives were taken; that their lives will not be taken in vain.  We will remember those who blazed so brightly and whose light was extinguished; but not their spirit.  TDoR will be taking place across the globe in many countries.  The gatherings will be in beautiful, safe spaces.  Those who are present will be moved; often to tears.

And it will be my responsibility to ensure that everyone who is there feels the love of their Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer.  To be invited to ask an ecumenical, multi-faith prayer is an honour and a challenge.  I believe that the Mother and Father of us all, who loved us into being will be with us, and will give me the words to speak to the hearts of those who will gather.  Because in the midst of darkness we must illumine that darkness with the light of our love.  For our Creator, for ourselves and for each other.  We WILL remember them.

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