What does hope look like?
Can you smell it? Can you hear it? Can you taste it? Can you hold it? Can you see it?
I held a bottle of pills in my hand one time. I unscrewed the cap. I put the pills in my mouth. I was a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I lived in an apartment on campus. I lived in a place where we were supposed to be taught about a God that is love. The only God that I found hated everything I loved in the world. I unscrewed the cap. Something made me stop.
I experienced something or somebody declaring, “I love you.”
Hope to keep me from ending my life came in a queer fashion, love.
I was still clinically depressed. Then the ministers started arriving. They were closeted Southern Baptist seminarians that revealed their secrets and wounds.
I found hope to continue and keep pushing through those secrets and wounds.
I met the hope of the Queer Jesus in a space of darkness, through secrets, wounds, and love.
I am here today because of that encounter. I am passionate about the Queer Jesus because the Queer Jesus offers hope to the world.
Are we willing to be the vessels of hope? Had it not been for my closeted ministers at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I would have never made it. Will we be the vessels who give life to others? Will we follow the Queer Jesus and be wounded healers our self?
What does it look like to tell your story? What does it look like to share hope? What does it look like to be a savior for others?
Jesus in Matthew 25 states:
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… Whatever you did to the least of these, you did it unto me…”
Hope looks like this:
Food for the hungry
Shelter for the homeless
A visit for the lonely
Justice for the just denied
Siding with the voiceless
Clemency for the imprisoned
On and on and on…
Where do you stand with regard to the least?
We are a community that has known oppression. There is no question about that. The Queer Community is marginalized and oppressed everyday…but we must not only fight for our self…for the oppression of one is the oppression of all.
Since you are the least, Jesus is present in this space. Since Jesus is liberating us, we have a responsibility to liberate others. We are hope.
We have the chance this week to share our wounds, our hope.
This Tuesday night we have the chance to stand with them at the Denton City Council meeting and fight for resolution endorsing marriage equality. Will we be the Queer Jesus as they are?
We must be a church that is outwardly focused and fighting to help others. If we cannot do this, then we shouldn’t call ourselves a church.
I have constructed a path for us to be an outwardly focused church. Our first step is to tell our stories. I will be passing around a sign up sheet for all of you to sign up to write a chapter in a book we are going to all write together, Stories from The Church at Mable Peabody’s. I am asking you to write 5 pages about your wounds and your journey so that we collectively might use this resource to give hope to others.
This is a way to let others know that it does get better.
The Queer Jesus will be with us in our efforts.