Is there any doubt that birth is the theme of this time of year? My wife Emily and I welcomed our third child Quinley into the world just last week. We will celebrate the birth of Jesus in a few weeks. It seems that everywhere we turn there is talk of birth. Tonight will be no different. The only difference is the birth I invite you to experience and celebrate will be your own.
When we talk about birth we are talking about a beginning. Tonight I invite you back to the beginning. When we talk about birth we are talking about the perfection of a new creation. Tonight I invite you to think of your self as a perfect creation of God.
John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Word can be understood as a perfect construction that is completely non-normative. That which is perfect is always queer. The Word can be understood as the Queer. “In the beginning was the Queer, the Queer was with God and the Queer was God.” Let us go back to the beginning. Let us go back to the perfection. Let us go back to the Queer.
The God that is non-normative and queer or perfect beyond normative constructions created human beings in God’s image. At our birth we were created by God to be queer like God or completely perfect in our unique non-normative self just like God. Perhaps the call of Jesus is a call back to this moment of queerness or perfection.
In the third chapter of John, Jesus meets an earnest seeker of God and salvation named Nicodemus and tells him that he must be born again. The phrasing “born again” has taken on many negative connotations due to the often-problematic evangelism of many Christians, but I think the phrasing need not be lost. When Jesus calls Nicodemus to be born again, Jesus is calling Nicodemus back to that queer place of perfection. Perhaps Jesus is saying…you are created perfectly and uniquely queer in the image of loving God…return to your birth and be what God has created you to be…queer. Now is the time to be born again.
The question for the baby in Bethlehem was always: Will this be the Queer the world has always longed for? The question today remains: Will we be the Queer the world so desperately longs for? The invitation to return to birth is the invitation to return to your truest being…your queerest being…and offer the world a way to love and justice.
In this holy time of year, may we have the courage to be hear the call of the baby in Bethlehem to be truly born…perhaps again…queer.
Delivered at The Queer Church of Dallas