Jesus is best revealed incarnationally
One’s gender and sexual orientation is not a barrier between them and God, nor does it make them less honorable. The love of Jesus makes no distinctions. We are one in Christ.
Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt
Read Romans 14:1-13
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
More thoughts for meditation
In Romans 14 and 15 Paul writes a gracious argument about how to treat people who are oriented in different ways. He is talking about people coming up against the feeling of “taboo” associated with meat that has been sacrificed to an idol and then sold in the temple market. Some people just can’t touch the tainted stuff; others think meat is meat.
While it is not the same topic, the same grace in Paul’s teaching applies to sexual orientation, which is much more complex and much more laden with different taboos. Jesus followers respond to sexual orientation in different ways, like our statement on marriage acknowledges. Most of the time, our sexual feelings or behavior will not be public knowledge. When it is, we might need to ask ourselves Paul’s questions: “Why would anyone judge them? Why would anyone treat such feelings with contempt?” And it could be added, “Why might I ignore people or ‘freeze’ them because I don’t want to deal with their behavior or confront the judgment they receive from people like me?”
Paul is saying to us about how we think of others, “Even if you think they are wrong or even if you think you are more right, they give account to God, not you.” Our job is to keep from putting any obstruction in the way of our brother’s or sister’s relationship with God. They may, indeed, be sinning sexually in heart or behavior (you may be too!), so that could be an issue. But that is not where we start. The first thing, like our proverb says, is to accept them like God does, in Christ. No orientation separates us from the love of Christ. We are all one in that love.
Suggestions for action
Pray: On my knees, with my mouth, I acknowledge you. Lead me as I consider how to make the way to you clear of obstruction for others.
The recent laws about “same sex marriage” solved an issue of rights under the law. But it did not solve the layers of thinking and feeling surrounding sexual orientation. We all have many issues about how we feel and then behave, sexually and otherwise.
Start with yourself. When you stand before God, Jesus will be your advocate. Is your knee bowed? How do you feel about giving an account? Give an account right now and repent where necessary.
Then think about how you see others. What level of prejudice do you generally work from? (What do others think is your level?) In the case of people considered LGBTQ or hetero-dominant (whether you are oriented like that, or not), how ready are you to get obstructions out of their way to Jesus?
Today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday, Fastnacht Day), the Eve of Lent. Explore it at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.