I had thought I was going to be good about blogging on the weekly lessons during Lent. It was a wonderful goal, but I have found that I have been lagging in zeal. But there is something in this phrase, pulled from the Isaiah reading assigned for this morning, which seems in keeping with my overrall experience as of late.
"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"
These two lines from Scripture seem so hauntingly perfect as I think about all the recent developments in my fair city and the nations of the world in regard to LGBT rights. We are increasingly moving into a period of greater understanding and acceptance of gay people, and the forces that have attempted to hold us back are realizing that they are losing ground. And they are angry. They are frustrated. They are thrashing. But they will not prevail.
Many people have expressed concerns to me about the potential backfiring of the marriage equality cases going before the United States Supreme Court in just over a week. This is not the ideal court to be hearing these challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. It is far too conservative. It is the court of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
I understand that concern. A part of me privately harbors the fear that the justices will come out with a ruling that keeps us for another generation in the closet. But even if the Supreme Court should rule against us, I am undaunted in my belief that God remains with us. And the Holy Spirit will keep pushing against the obstacles that stand in the way of light entering the world through the love that is shared between people of the same-sex as well as opposite-sex. And, if we should be victorious, I have seen how those who are against equal rights for all citizens will reformulate and gather a storm, either to come at LGBT people from another direction, or moving on to suppress the rights and freedoms of another group perceived to be weak. They can try. They will not ultimatley succeed.
When Jesus notes in the Gospel lesson of John today that we will always have the poor among us, but we will not always have Him, I think that "poor" can be interpreted not just as the state of having no money. It is also the poor in judgment or the poor in faith or the poor in heart. There will always be those who, out of their own poverty of spirit, will attempt to keep others in their so-called "place." And the Spirit will always unshackle the ones kept prisoner, and release them out into the world to increase the presence of light.
To my LGBT brothers and sisters, and our allies: let us anoint ourselves, and die to the belief that we are captives of a society opposed to our version of Love. And let us keep lighting the way to justice.