So then, with endurance, let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter.Hebrews 12:1-2a, CEB
I’d like to invite you on a journey. A journey of spiritual growth. A journey of integrating all parts of ourselves into our walk with Christ. Specifically, a journey towards a healthy, ethical, Queer sexuality. This is a journey I’m on myself—and have been for the (more than) thirty years since I sat in the office of my priest and asked him what the rules were for faithful, Gay, Christian men like myself. As I’ve written elsewhere, he didn’t offer me any rules for dating and relating. He didn’t, to my great dismay, tell me how to meet a Christian husband. His answer to me was to pray. But he also encouraged me to go deeper into my spiritual life in community. It is this journey into deeper spiritual life which has provided all the answers I have needed so far. Even in the midst of mistakes and misdirections, I have consistently grown and expanded my capacity for love and relating through the faithful cloud of witnesses (Queer and otherwise) who have surrounded me on my journey towards personal integrity in Christ.
The apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, “Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.” (3:13-14, CEB) Paul counsels us to run our race, but we are also asked in the scriptures to be mindful of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us. (Hebrews 12) I’d like to be part of that great cloud of witnesses for you, cheering you on. And I’d like you to be part of that great cloud of witnesses for me.
There is a great temptation to think of sex as something private, something shameful, even, to be kept between ourselves and one unique, intimate partner or to be kept only to ourselves. Sometimes, we even exclude God from our sexual lives, afraid of what might happen if we let God into our most intimate spaces and thoughts. But God is already there, and God’s Spirit wants to be an integral part of every aspect of our lives. And God has surrounded us with community to help us discern how this Spirit is moving in our hearts and in our relationships to lead us into more abundant life, not just for ourselves, but for the good of the whole world.
My invitation to journey together is an invitation to recognize and strengthen the community we have surrounding us. I’d like to help our community realize the importance of integrating our sexuality and our spirituality. I’d like to help our community mine the resources of the deep Christian tradition to help us together make better sexual decisions and live by a sexual ethic which honors our unique individuality, while honoring others, and resonating with our deeply held, Christian values.
This is my hope and my invitation to you.
Thank you for your time and attention. I’d love to know your thoughts. Please comment below, or email your thoughts, your concerns, and your prayers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.