Fear is a dastardly construction. It creates boundaries, gives directions, and yells commands. Fear loudly tells us where we can and cannot go and what we can and cannot be. We have created this space to fight against the fear that bites at us out there.
Like the disciples many years ago, we have all pilled together into this ship we call a church. We are huddled together and rowing. We know not the length of time it will take to get to the other side. We just know where we are trying to go. We know not the troubles that might await. We just know that we are going to push through together.
It takes much love and trust to get into the ship. Some of you didn’t know each other two months ago. All you knew was that there was this crazy church talking about an all inclusive and loving Queer Jesus getting started. You stepped past your suspicions and fears of church in general and came…now here we are.
I am proud of being in this ship with you. We have sailed a long way. We started in my house with four or five people. We moved locations. We have grown tremendously. But at every step, there has been fear to push past and overcome for all of us.
I wanted to inform you that our family has been the victim of various veiled seemingly threatening words and innuendos over the past few months. When we received a veiled word that someone had a very special birthday present for our boys, I decided to send Emily and the boys to New Mexico, while I was gone to Guatemala this past week. There have also been fishy actions that have seemed to present veiled threats to this community. While none of these veiled words have risen to the level of a provable or actual threat, we do know that there are people out there who do not like what this community is doing.
Those who are frustrated with us now will undoubtedly grow even more so when we start our study next week. I have constructed a volume entitled “The Queer,” which is an interpretation of the Gospel of John set in modern day Denton. You can probably imagine who the queer is. We are going to study this book alongside a more traditional version of the Gospel of John each Sunday until we finish the entire book. We choose to study the Bible in this way because others for two thousand years have chosen to interpret the Bible in a way that has left out queer folk of all kinds and sorts. We are the restoration of a God that loves and cherishes all people no matter their orientation or identity.
So we choose to stay and fight with our hearts. To fight for the member of our community that was beaten unconscious and spit upon. To fight for the member of our community that had a crucifix shoved up his ass. To fight for all the queer folk in Denton, Texas and around the world who are afraid to be who they are for fear of losing their jobs, family, and friends. We are the resistance…to fear, inequality, and oppression. We are the movement of love that so many other churches in this area have failed to be. We are the very incarnation of Jesus the Christ, an increasingly queer construct in a world governed by fear.
We have chosen to get out of the boat and walk on water. We have chosen to move past the boundaries of logic and fear. We have chosen to walk on water toward that miraculous light. If we turn away our gaze, we will start to sink. But if we keep our eyes focused on the light that is love, we will reach the shore of our destiny, a place were love is not just an idealization but rather an actualization.
And so we fight with our hearts and dare to stand our ground at this moment, in this time, and in this place, so that all might be turned away from fear and toward love. We are The Church at Mable Peabody’s and we intend to fight for any and all whose ambition is love.