A Prayer for Pride Week

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Image by Robert Valette, via Wikimedia Commons

 

God of ceaseless revelation,
You came out to Create;
Said, “You are made in my image, male, female, or otherwise, for I am all genders.”
You made humans to be in relationship with each other,
naked and unashamed.

But we shut you up.
We said “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,”
and we stitched fig leaves together to cover everything
of which we were ashamed.
And we said, “This is not you, God.”

God of ceaseless revelation,
You came out to Liberate;
In the flaming bush,
you declared to a people enslaved
that you were not like the gods of Egypt
made in the image of the ibis, hound, or cow;
or made in the image of rich and powerful Pharaoh
who said that the poor were “lazy, lazy.”
You came out and said,
“I Am Who I Am.
I Am The One Who Is With You,
and I will liberate you from slavery and oppression.”

But we shut you up.
We said, “This far you shall come, and no farther.”
We declared there were places you could not go
And people you could not touch
And we remade you in the image of our kings and strong men.
With our actions and words,
we declared that some lives don’t matter as much as others
in our Infernal Great Chain of Being,
And we said, “This is not you, God.”

God of ceaseless revelation,
You came out to Save and Salve,
in the person of Jesus Christ.
You revealed yourself in a baby,
a rabbi, one unjustly executed, and one who refused to stay dead.
You revealed you are in solidarity with all those persecuted
All those beaten and left to die on the side of a road
or tied to a fence,
All those Samaritans of the wrong religion or ethnic group who stop to lend aid,
All those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, or in prison,
All those who are doxxed or lynched, assaulted or shamed,
All those who are betrayed by their allies with a kiss.

And you declared woe and misery to the religious leaders
trapped in the hell of their own righteousness,
self-exiled from the people they exile,
self-excluded from your own banquet,
refusing to attend your wedding feast,
cut off by their own hand from those who could give them life.
“If only,” you pleaded with them, “you would learn the things that make for peace!”

And again we shut you up.
We nailed you to the sky and inverted your good news.
We wrote our own scriptures:
“God helps those who help themselves,”
“God will never give you more than you can handle,”
“Love the sinner and hate the sin.”
We turned people away from your table.
We performed amazing feats of theological and intellectual acrobatics
And even as we read the story of Jesus Christ
We still managed to say,
“This is not you, God.”

God of ceaseless revelation,
You came out at Pentecost;
As wind and fire, giving voice to your followers
in all their diversity,
Allowing them to speak and understand,
Crossing barriers of language, ethnicity, and culture,
Calling people to a new way of living together.
Our sons and daughters prophesied of all the great things you had done, are doing, and will do.

And we shut you up.
Told women to be silent in church,
executed evangelists for translating the Bible,
told preachers where they could and could not speak a word of grace,
and, like Balak to Balaam, commanded your priests to curse rather than pray a blessing.
We tried to contain the wind of your spirit within the stone walls of our buildings
and we blamed the world when we could no longer
feel your breath moving against our skin.

And still you come out.
You come out in our friends and our enemies.
You come out in every conversation where we see the image of God
in someone in whom we couldn’t see it before.
You reveal yourself when our children, our parents, our siblings, our friends,
our pastors and colleagues,
Share who they are with us.
Again and again you give us the opportunity to see you for who you really are,
and who we really are,
made in your image.

In places where churches must hide for fear of discovery
Or people must hide for fear of being known,
Where the threat of violence, rejection, and poverty
force people to choose
survival
over thriving,
Let there be light.
Let those who can
be a light to the world,
Not so they can be seen, but so they may give their light to all in the house.
Let those who cannot be a light
Be salt—subtle and savory,
Saving and preserving those who,
in our ignorance or negligence,
we fail to see as worth saving.

God of ceaseless revelation,
Come out to us
in humankind and relationships
in burning bushes and nature
in scripture and writings
in worship and poetry
in music and song

And never allow us
to shut you up.

Amen.

(Want more?

Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology, Pamela R. Lightsey

God Comes Out: A Queer Homiletic, Olive Elaine Hinnent

Jesus Christ, Woody Guthrie)