- Hope on Union
“Can They Live?”
If you have read any news, you would have read that several states are working to limit self-determination rights of individuals regarding their bodies ranging from women’s reproductive rights to individual’s right to choose their gender or sexual identity. One of their strategies is to prevent an entire generation from learning scientific knowledge by turning education into brainwashing sessions.
The sad part of the story is that this movement is led by the conservative NOT-christian churches in the name of Jesus. They are promoting “ostrich” educational methods - we will bury our heads in the sand, ignore the truth and say it doesn’t exist - to create misguided, misinformed, mistaken Jesus-not-worshipping churches filled with hate. As these churches are selling their souls for political power, they seem to miss the point that they are following “Caesar,” not God. The best-known example of this was Hitler and the Nazis.
By preventing education on gender identity or sexual orientation, they are not going to prevent someone from being attracted to same-sex or feeling that their body does not feel like them. It means conservative NOT-christian parents will not be able to support and help their gay, bi-sexual, or transgender children. They will disown them and cut off all ties as if their children are dead. “Ostrich” theology – bury our heads, and avoid the truth, then our children are not gay – is the illness of the conservative NOT-christian false religiosity.
Scripture is clear as to the importance of people experiencing the fullness of the image of God in them. This week’s sermon will look at the passage in the 37th chapter of the book of Ezekiel, where God leads the prophet to restore life to bleached-out dry bones in the desert. Ezekiel is a story of the Hebrew people seeking freedom from the Babylonian occupation of Israel in the 6th century BC. Under the Babylonian empire, the temple was destroyed, and the image of dry bones was used to illustrate that living under oppression means they are not truly alive.
In the story, as the bones come together, God asks Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Even as the bones are together, covered with sinew, and skin went on, they were not alive. They were not alive until the breath came into them or the spirit was in them. While it is asked in a question, it is a rhetorical question to state that unless the spirit of the person is intact, they are not alive. Not being fully alive is not being alive.
The current political efforts to oppress the LGBTIQA+ members and denies them their God-given right to experience the fullness of their existence. The church has not committed a more egregious sin. To work for justice means to oppose anyone who is trying to deny a person their right to experience the full expression of God’s image in them. As a Church of Jesus Christ, we must be the ones who stand up for the rights of people to have faith in God.
Faith is about being whole as a person, and the responsibility of a faith community is to be the place where everyone can become whole. This Lenten season, let us be the agents that allow the dry bones of our community to live as whole people.