An Epiphany Reflection.
Kim Burrell recently made a media splash for a pretty angry speech (I’m quite selective as to what I call a sermon) that made pretty incendiary claims about the moral integrity of the LGBTQ community. Her speech caught national attention when she was conspicuously dis-invited to perform on The Ellen Show. The “Burrell incident” is gasoline to an ever blazing fire of the Christian stance on homosexuality.
My initial thought when hearing the news was, “Jesus! Here we go again.”
I am of the general opinion that we are currently in a very critical time where people are dying.
We are drowning in the blood of and the tears for the slain from the plague of violence in our land (Reports on the Ft. Lauderdale shooting flood my computer before I could even publish this piece).
People are dying from hatred.
People are dying.
Confused, scared, and anxious souls wander into the church looking to hear something, anything, to believe in, to hope for, to live for.
Looking for something to get from one day to the next, one moment to the next because
life is so hard.
Times are so hard.
Confused, scared, and anxious souls are waiting with baited breath for the Church to open its mouth to say something, to offer something of clarity, or comfort, or consolation.
And when we open our mouth to speak, out sputters the same diatribe on homosexuality.
My initial thought when hearing the news was, “Jesus! Why in this critical moment is the debate on homosexuality the reason the Christian church is making headlines?”
Why is this what’s at the top of everyone’s Facebook and twitter feed?
My initial thought when hearing the news was, “Jesus! What the hell does it matter?”
In this time, in all that is going on in this country, in this world what does it matter what two grown consenting adults are doing in their bedrooms? Why would that be point of anyone’s sermonic moment right now?
But then I had an Epiphany.
This matters. Talking about sex matters.
Because people are dying.
We are dying from a lack of knowledge, a lack of insight, a lack of understanding about our bodies and our sexuality.
People are dying
From sickness as STD’s conquer communities like the plague.
From sadness as relationships crumble beneath the weight of adultery.
From a lack of safety as rape and child sexual abuse numbers continue to climb.
Talking about sex, it matters.
But the peculiar thing is that whenever we take on the task of discussing sexuality, we can only get as close as identifying homosexuality as a sin. And so often, that’s it.
Personally, I would want to trouble our hermeneutics or interpretation of the Bible’s discourse on sexual sin but if we are to take it at face value, there is a sexual sin to tag each and every one of us. The Bible says that:
Sex before marriage is a sin. Even if you’re married now, according to the Bible You are no more exempt from anyone else who is held accountable for sexual misconduct.
Adultery is a sin. Cheating on your mate, although common, is a damnable sin.
Divorce is a sin. According to our good Lord and savior, Divorce and remarriage is a form of adultery and sin in the eyes of God.
Our Lord says even looking upon another with lust is a sin.
And with his words, we are all guilty of sexual sin.
The interesting thing about the Bible is that it is all written in the same font. The few bits on homosexuality, contrary to popular opinion, are not bold, italicized, or underlined. It is all the same. And we are all guilty.
We all stand accused.
We pretend, when we walk into church, that we have magically become Ken and Barbie dolls, devoid of sex organs or Porn Hub accounts. But if we take the Bible’s discourse on sexuality seriously, even the holiest among stands before God as guilty as the woman caught in the act of adultery. I have always wondered if we know this to be true why do we only know how to identify the gay community as sinners?
But then I had an epiphany.
I realized that we do not know what to do with this sin. We do not know how to talk about, address, or face it. We need someone to carry the weight of it for us. We need someone to take our sin and shame from us.
We need someone to die again and again for us.
We need someone to be the scapegoat.
The lamb who is slain.
We need someone to be crucified for our sexual sins.
We have chosen the gay community to do that for us, to be that for us.
We have chosen them to carry our sins as their own. To suffer the shame and ridicule that we deserve.
And so we have chosen them to be our salvation.
And so we have chosen them to be Jesus for us.
And so on this day as we celebrate the Epiphany- the realization of that our Christ came among us.
I have had an epiphany.
I have had the realization that our Christ is yet among us.
Our savior is here.
Still suffering for us. Still crying for us. Still bleeding for us.
Still dying for us.
Our savior is here.
And our savior is Gay.