Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Acts 11:1-18

Easter 5 - Year C

Acts 11:1-18

Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea (your community) heard that the Gays and Lesbians had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem (your denominational headquarters), the Homophobic believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to the Gays and Lesbians and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three Gay men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six Hetero brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the Gay man's house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire cohort will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon Gays and Lesbians just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave Gays and Lesbians the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When the Homophobic believers heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gays and Lesbians the repentance that leads to life.”

A similar miracle can still happen.

Note that repentance here is not about G*D's good gift of personal identity. If you were born with one set of genitals or another or both or none is beside the point. If you came to realize you were erotically attracted to those of a different gender or same or both is beside the point. These are not repentance issues. Repentance has to do with orientation toward G*D, not toward another human being. If we are not following Jesus' model of drawing nearer to G*D and becoming G*D, we are in need of repentance. If we are so engaged, the personal identity issues are off the tablecloth.

Note also the assumption that there weren't Gays and Lesbians present when Pentecost occurred. Knowing what we know about human beings, the odds were that there were some (including the one "that Jesus loved"?) Gays and Lesbians in the first round of having been Holy Spiritized. It is not sufficient to go on the assumption that if it didn't specifically say there were Gay and Lesbians anointed/ordained to the ministry of Jesus to draw near to G*D that they weren't present, closeting being what it has been for lo these many years.
 

2 comments:

  1. Ah. Wesley. Thank you. This is where my heart goes with this reading.

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  2. Blessings.

    This passage is large enough to be helpful in whatever identity politics goes on next in world or church. With the immigration issue flaring it seems we are circling around the racial/ethnic identity issue again, though it may simply be latent fascism using this as an opportunity for resurgence of power (generic identity politics).

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