Fourth Advent Wednesday

advent-candles

So there’s no real agenda for these posts, but they have had a definite social justice bent. I’m a huge believer in both individual choices creating change as well as groups and communities working together to confront systemic issues, we need both.

Currently I’m reading a fascinating book: Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelism. I don’t agree with everything in the book. What is really sitting with me isn’t that the Church should be the safest place for Queer people and Queer Christians, how People of Color tend to look at sin systemically and individually, or even how feminism and Christianity should go hand in hand.

More than all that I’m just understanding that it’s so important for each of us to share our voice in the Church. It’s so important for us all to be the parts of the body we were created to be and to realize fundamentally none of us have it completely right, which makes it ever more imperative that there is room in the Church room in the World for each of us to be our true selves. Outside of sin God created us to be our unique selves. When we suffocate that under the guise of biblical living or right theology we do a great disservice to God.

 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

We don’t all look at the world the same. We don’t all have the same experiences.

We need voices that know personally the burden of systemic sin and why racism is much more than name calling and one off racial slurs. We need to hear women’s voices especially in regards to family planning, violence, and leadership. We need to see Queer people as people, not as stereotyped militants out to “destroy the family”. We need to be part of communities that are diverse. Diverse in general population and absolutely in leadership. It doesn’t help if women have a unique perspective to share, but men are the only ones included in conversations or groups that create change.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all..For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. I Corinthians 12: 4-7; 12-14

I think about how in some circles I’m still nervous to share what I truly believe. That I fear others rejection or condemnation. I don’t feel I always have safe spaces to share my thoughts. I don’t think my thoughts would be seriously considered by some people, I think there first reaction would be correction without any serious consideration.

Part of why I love my husband and chose to marry him is because he’s someone who has fully accepted me for who I am. He loves and values that I’m a Jesus lover, writer, feminist, and people embracer (don’t confuse that with me being a hugger, I’m too moody and bony to always appreciate hugs). He never tries to change me. He’s accepted that I’m perpetually messy and will always choose comfort over aesthetics. He embraces my introspection, obsessions, and concern over emotions. I do my best to do the same for him, but I also have a terrible desire to make him more like me, but it’s okay I’m working on it.

I also think of the community of women who were part of the Women’s Bible Play I was a part of (not it’s real name). We still have a facebook group that we communicate through and while we absolutely did not agree with everything we always listened to each other. We shared our stories, our hearts, our lives and it was a truly safe place. So many tears, laughter, joy, and pain was shared and it came together to create a show that impacted people.

I hope I can foster more safe places in my life and the lives of people I know and love. I hope we all have people who fully embrace who we are. I hope we can all be true to ourselves and our stories. We were each created uniquely. We must each embrace our neighbor fully for who they are and, what is sometimes even harder, fully embrace ourselves.

Love and glitter,

Juanita

 

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