I suppose the best way to describe how I’ve been feeling at this time of Pentecost is edgy, and uneasy. Not in a bad way, mind you. But more in that way of when you can just feel something is going to break, and you’re hoping that it’s an opening and opportunity, and not a shattering and catastrophe.
I wasn’t in the room when the Holy Spirit arrived in a big gust of wind and fiery flaming tongue that granted each disciple with the gift of multi-lingual speaking and hearing. But I can imagine that such an event would have left me awe-struck. I don’t know that I’d be wondering if these guys were drunk (as some witnesses to the scene apparently did), but I can only imagine what it would be like to be in a room with a bunch of foreigners and suddenly—whoosh--I could understand the words they’re saying. Sort of like somebody decided to turn on the Star Trek Universal translator device so the humans could understand the Klingons and vice versa.
In this case, the translator is the Holy Spirit. And I think that Spirit is still in the world and attempting to move us to a new level of understanding one another.
Certainly, I think of myself as a new Susan, eagerly anticipating the next bold steps of the Church. As I’ve noted time and time again in other entries, the desire for many of us who are distinguished as being “Gay and Christian” is for the dialogue about human sexuality and inclusion of LGBT-Christians to happen with us, and not just about us. I am anxious for us to find a way of transcending the anger, and the bickering, by coming back to what makes us all believers in, as spelled out in the service of Baptism, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” We are a small “c” catholic (meaning universal) church.
Part of the process toward making that happen, however, I believe rests with those who have been in the majority. A minority group can make itself known, and we can make noise and ask for an audience. But whether we’re heard and granted our chance to present our case rests with those who have enjoyed the perks of being in the majority. I see this process starting. I sense that under the leadership of our Presiding Bishop, there are slow, cautious, but not retreating steps toward a more inclusive church. And it is not happening because of a “gay agenda” being pushed by Integrity, or Gene Robinson, or some other “shadowy” figure. Instead, I think it is being guided by what already exists in Scripture. That the message repeatedly from God, as articulated by Jesus and followed on with the burning fire of the Holy Spirit, is a love that encompasses us all…no matter who we are. And if God loves all of us, then there is no one…gay, straight, Republican, Democrat, black, white, human, animal….that can be denied entrance into the
If the Church continues to prayerfully, and with clear purpose, pursue the path that I believe the Spirit has put her on…there will one day have to be full inclusion of LGBT-people in the Episcopal Church from our places in the pews and up into the pulpits as priests, and—yes--bishops. I believe this is what is meant by the ever-present number one hit of hymns in my head that “God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year.” The purpose is to make us truly one body in Christ. All of us. Period. Amen.