Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Lesbians and Gays lived by this advice incognito for decades as putative exiles under policies dictated by heterosexuals. We built homes and dwelt in them, and made no announcements. We paid taxes like everyone else. We sought the welfare of the city in which we had been exiled. We even asked God to bless the city. We understood that our welfare comes from the welfare of our neighbors.
Slowly our exile is ending, right in our old neighborhoods. More of us feel safe enough to come out and share our wholeness.
We are not a new people invading from an alien place. We are your sons and daughters, your mothers and fathers, your doctors, lawyers and teachers. In your welfare we find our welfare.
The same is true in the church.
Soon after I founded Integrity, an international ministry of lgbt Anglicans/Episcopalians, the vestry of my parish asked me to leave, and the bishop summoned me for discipline [see The Peace of Christ is Not for Gays in Christianity & Crisis 37.9-10 (1977): 140-144].
Yet more than 35 years later, at long last our exile is ending. Witness the consecrations of Bishop Gene Robinson and Bishop Mary Glasspool. Witness the vote on
Commitment and Witness to the Anglican Communion and the vote on Liturgies for Blessings at General Convention in 2009. Tallies for both resolutions are here.
In your welfare, we are finding our welfare. Thanks be to God.
These twelve verses tend to put us on automatic pilot to praise God. However, verses 9, 10, and 11 mitigate that tenor. They remind us that God tries us, tests us, brings us into ‘the snare,’ lays heavy burdens upon our back, lets enemies ride over our heads, puts us through fire and water…..and yet blesses us in the end. I am uncomfortable making God responsible for all our trials, but rejoice to find God present through them.
Addressed perhaps more to us than to God, the psalm reminds us to remember what we promised when we were in trouble and reminds us to pay the vows that we made then.
Thereby, the psalm promotes institutional stewardship. If we have been blessed by the work of God, it makes sense to give to the religious establishment that keeps that work alive.
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening.
Leaked from the Anglican Right’s Revisionist Task Force
Don’t dare preach on the Gospel reading today. You will run a big risk of having the homosexual lobby claim that they are in the same position as the Samaritan, that they have come back to thank Jesus when others who have been healed said nothing to the healer.
You will waste your time to ask them whether they have really been healed. They’ll tell you of vague spiritual healing. They won’t claim to be healed of their homosexuality, which is truly a modern equivalent of leprosy in Jesus' day. They rejoice in their orientation, and even seek to be married. Surely you do not want to offer your straight son or daughter to one of them!
Jesus cannot possibly expect us good heterosexual Christians to embrace the lepers. St. Francis was wrong even to try; but then he was a Catholic, so what do you expect?
Do not risk becoming unclean like the homosexuals.
Luke’s passage for today is scriptural meat and should be taken out of the Deep Freeze only by clergy or by students already enrolled in a good conservative seminary with strict admission checks for orthodoxy.
It will not do for us to be risk the sissies’ Gospel that Jesus loves absolutely everybody.
That does not mean we are being hateful. It is God who asks us to shun them. We’re just being wise as adders.
Our neighbor's a fag and bakes good cakes,
as parents are careful to warn children.
But he's just an undertaker,
so there ain't much way
he could harm no living thing.
He even married wunts,
to a widow schoolteacher;
but their maid let out
how the two lived in separate parts
of the house right from the beginning,
and the teacher, being sickly,
conveniently upped and died real soon.
I think those boys were wrong to beat him up
when he wrote the paper about Anita.
A little sugar in his gas tank
or a few discreet breathing calls
oughta been enough to keep him scared
to make another public move.
We ain't got nothin gainst queers, really,
long's they don't do nothin or tell nobody.
We never have let the Baptists
tell us how to run our lives.
-- Louie Crew
- Quean Lutibelle's Pew. Dragon Disks: Newark, NJ, 1990. Page 30
- Gruene Street March 1997. An online journal.
- Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 7.3 (1997): 106-107
- Rural Gays and Lesbians. An anthology edited by James D. Smith and Ronald Mancoske. NY: Harrington Park Press, 1997. 106-107
- Parva Sed Apta 2007. An online journal.