I was just asked a really good question, and I think good articles start with good questions. I was asked, “Just what is it that you are doing this weekend?”
“Is it legal?”
“Has there been much ‘kickback’ from the church?”
“Is it in keeping with your Christian values?”
In reverse order the answers are: Yes, No, Yes, and I am officiating at a service of the celebration of love for one another and commitment to one another for six same gender couples.
It will truly be a celebration of love.
I believe that our Sacred Scripture and the Sacred texts of most major religions of the world teach one common theme. That for society to prosper that is for people to get along with one another we must learn respect, acceptance, and love.
For me the primary revelation of that teaching is through Jesus of Nazareth, a scholarly Jew who spoke out against the predominant religious establishment of his day. A teaching that focused on the point that love was at the core of all the teachings of the temple and the Sacred texts. The most important of all laws Jesus said, was that one should love their neighbor as themselves, and that the whole law and prophets were based on that premise. Jesus’s words, not mine.
He became known as the ‘saving one’ as his teachings “saved” people from the oppressive ways of the temple priests. Today, The Saving One, (Savior, Christ) has been relegated to a position elevated to the status of a deity, a status which Jesus would abhor as he taught clearly, time and time again, that humility is the proper road and one should never let themselves be relegated to such positions. In fact as the story goes, Jesus, when offered the kingdom, admonished the evil in it and said “get behind me” to the presence of evil in the suggestion that he should be put on high.
His followers became known as Christians, another word for ‘the ones following the savior’. But because he spoke so strongly about freeing the oppressed from the bondage they were in, those who were the oppressors, the keepers of the law, by the authority of the temple priests had him put to death. His message would not die and within a few days, three, he was alive and well and being seen among the people and they became fully aware that this message of love could not die.
That message of the saving way that seeks to free people from the oppressive nature of the established religious institution is alive and well and moving strongly in the world today. That message that only his way could deliver the Hebrew people from the oppression lives on until today. Today many progressive Christians are going back two thousand years to find and offer the truth of the message of Jesus’ acceptance of those whom society may view as having a questionable reputation or who, for one reason or another, society has chosen to set apart.
It is a message of care and compassion we offer this weekend as many of these same gender couples have been driven away, oppressed and rejected by the churches that nurtured them in their youth. It is a message of care and compassion fully in accordance with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Is celebrating the love and commitment of two individuals to one another legal? Yes.
Have I received any negative response from my church? No.
Is it in keeping with my moral and ethical Christian standards? Yes.
The celebration of love is the ‘core’ of my Christian morals, as I believe, it was for Jesus.
Blessings to all who find love and grace in a community of faithful people and courage to you if are still looking!