Friday, April 3, 2015

Bringing Easter to People Stuck in Holy Week

Beloved of Christ:

Today is Good Friday, the day we remember the selfless death of Jesus on the cross.  It is stark and tragic, yet we know how the story ends.  It ends with resurrection! 

The cross makes no sense without the hope of resurrection.  Yet many people in our LGBTQ community still long for that hope.   They are stuck in a Holy Week sort of life.  They get little joy from the jubilation of Palm Sunday, because they see it as fleeting emotion disconnected from their own feelings of societal rejection.  They understand too well the oppression of religious authorities and the cynicism of government leaders who wash their hands of the notion of equality or justice.  These brothers and sisters feel the derision of the mobs and endure the torture of violence.  Their loved ones watch helplessly—or sometimes join in on it.  So called people of faith have too often betrayed them with a kiss.  Too many of our people have been killed because of who they are; some have actually died at the hand of the state.  They live Holy Week.

Many of us have lived there too, yet we have seen glimpses of hope.  Some of us have seen resurrection in our own lives!  As LGBTQ Christians we are a witness to the savior’s promise of new and eternal life.  We see that life in churches that open their doors and hearts to our families.  We see that life in the way people grow together in relationship based on mutual love and respect.  We see new life as people live honestly and dare to explore their authentic identities fully.  We find hope in the teen who dares to trust that God loves them just the way they are.

We are people of the empty tomb.  There is nothing to see here!  Our Jesus is alive and calls us to live life abundantly.    Let’s remember to always lead lives of contagious hope and to continue to work toward building a church able to model resurrection.

The Passion of Christ lasted a week; the Compassion of Christ lasts forever.

Have a blessed and holy Easter!

Matt Haines,

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