While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days. --Acts 10: 44-48
I have found that many of the people who are so vehemently opposed to the LGBT community being actively engaged and part of the Church like to say their arguments are "biblical". Well, the above passage which is part of today's Daily Office readings for Morning Prayer seems to indicate that I'm just as "biblical" in asserting that LGBT people have a place at God's table.
What Peter experienced is what Phillip experienced with the eunuch is what Paul understood when the scales fell from his eyes: God has a purpose... and they are not to get in the way of that purpose to redeem more and more people, but are to go forth and baptize and bring more people in. And out of those newly-reclaimed people, God will call forth more to do that same work of showing the way to the party of eternal life.
Something to think about, folks, as the Church begins Day Three of the General Convention in Anaheim.
I was reading a transcript of some of the testimony on B033 as it was being discussed yesterday in California. And, again, it was a delegate from the "Overcast State"... this time from the Diocese of Central Florida... who defended the need to keep a moratorium on blessing of same-sex marriages and consecrating more gay bishops. The man, sensing he was in the minority, flippantly said, "What Integrity wants, Integrity will get."
Naturally, Integrity President Rev. Susan Russell noted that what Integrity "wants" is for us to live into the promise of the gospel and the good news. Hopefully, then, we WILL get what Integrity wants.
As my friend and brother-in-Christ +Gene Robinson says, "My 'gay agenda' is Jesus!"
Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. --BCP, pg. 255