In Uncategorized on October 11, 2012 at 11:00 am
… Jesus replied, “Every religious scholar who has become a student of the kindom of heaven is like the head of a household who can bring from the storeroom both the new and the old.”
- Logo created by Jenny Goring for the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ QueerSpirit Retreat
To be a student of the empire is to be a student of God’s ways among us. After all, God’s realm is not something “out there” waiting to arrive. Rather God’s reign is the inbreaking of the Sacred into the very midst of our lives, hearts, and souls. This parable invites all who are “students of the kindom” to be responsible for bringing treasures out of the storeroom of faith to aid this inbreaking. I personally feel that les-gay-bi-trans-queer/questioning-intersex-asexual students of the kingdom are uniquely gifted to bring forth the peculiar queer treasure known as “camp.”
Susanne Sachsse and Marc Siegel help to define camp:
For some, camp is a lie that tells the truth. For others, it’s an unexpectedly intense commitment to the seemingly trivial. Some say that camp is so bad that it’s good. For others, it’s so good that it calls into question dominant value systems.” (Kaltblut Magazine)
– continue reading at The Bible In Drag
In Sexual Orientation on September 27, 2012 at 11:24 am
The kindom of heaven is like a buried treasure found in a field. The ones who discovered it hid it again, and rejoicing at the discovery, went and sold all their possessions and bought that field.
Or again the kindom of heaven is like a merchant’s search for fine pearls. When one pearl of great value was found, the merchant went back and sold everything else and bought it.
Mathew 13: 44-46
Let’s play “word substitute.” Instead of “kindom of heaven,” let’s read “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.” The parables then would read sexual orientation is like an unknown treasure that once discovered brings great rejoicing. And sexual identity once discerned is as rich and glorious as a pearl of the greatest value.
If you are playing this game with straight friends they will not get how freeing and affirming these parables are. For them, sexual orientation and sexual identity have never been hidden or sought after. It’s hardly a treasure but more of a given constant. For queers, however, the discernment of deep identity markers which set us apart from the (hetero) norm can be either an experience of anxiety or liberation – often a mixture of both. Even more reasons for us to identify with the thrill of these parables. Leutwyler’s self portrait captures the sense of “neediness” which lends urgency to the searching and boundless joy in the finding
-continue reading at The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture.
In Uncategorized on September 20, 2012 at 11:34 am
Jesus presented another parable to the crowds: “The kindom of heaven is like the mustard seed which a farmer sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows it is the biggest shrub of all – it becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come to perch in its branches.”
Jesus offered them still another parable: “The kindom of heaven is like the yeast a baker took and mixed in with three measures of flour until it was leavened all through.”
Mathew 13: 31-33 (Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-21)
It is almost cliché to note that these two parables are about “humble beginnings.” It is cliché until we take a look at what “humble” refers to: insignificant and rag-tag. That is, out of dismissible events and people grow God’s great Empire.
For example, few observers would have suspected that a hole-in-the-wall tranny-bar would become the match to light the modern Gay Rights Movement in the United States. Yet the name Stonewall is now known the world over. In its wake queer sexuality is seen less and less as a predilection and more and more as a life-affirming path.
McCoy-Snell’s painting reminds us that the greatness of a person or even a movement is often masked by the circumstances of their conception and birth.
-continue reading at The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture
In Sexual Orientation on September 13, 2012 at 11:42 am
Jesus presented another parable to those gathered: “The kindom of heaven is like a farmer who sowed good seed in a field. While everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and then made off. When the crop began to mature and yield grain, the weeds became evident as well.
“The farmer’s workers came and asked, ‘Did you not sow good seed in your field? Where are the weeds coming from?’
“The farmer replied, ‘I see an enemy’s hand in this.’
“They in turn asked, ‘Do you want us to go out and pull them up/”
“‘No,’ replied the farmer, ‘if you pull up the weeds, you might take the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until the harvest, then at harvest time I will order the harvesters first to collect the weeds and bundle them up to burn, then to gather the wheat into my barn.’”
-Mathew 13: 24-30
Growing up in and among Kentucky farmers – a long and glorious family lineage – I know how important a good harvest is to the stability of the family. What the enemy has done not only “bests” a rival, but demoralizes and subverts the family as well. Twice the “enemy” is mentioned and the parable develops around the action of this adversary. The concern is the outcome of the enemy’s action and how to neutralize the opponent’s influence.
This parable about the Empire of God appears in the midst of a section of Matthew’s gospel dealing with the nascent rejection of Jesus and his message. It is an early warning that not all will turn out satisfactory in the Jesus story.
I think there is a lesson here for the LGBTQIA community. We certainly know about enemies – those detractors who for one reason or another still point to us as “unnatural.” We are familiar with the weeds they seek to plant among us – hateful and hurtful attitudes which serve only to destabilize our innate orientation. We have set about pulling these weeds with great energy and hope. Yet the weeds spring back.
-continue reading at The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture.