Today, God is speaking. Today, God has brought the gospel winds of change. Today, God has brought love into the public square and called it justice. Today, God’s revelation comes not through Church but through Court. Today, love wins.
Today’s monumental decision by the United States Supreme Court granting all couples the freedom to marry marks a milestone in the advancement of the rights of LGBTQ persons everywhere. Today, loving couples are granted equal access, under the law of the land, to solemnize their love, bless their commitment, and acknowledge their covenant with one another before God and neighbor. Today, the ink of the quill has dried upon the parchment of equality, from bench to pulpit, penned by the principalities and powers—“those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”
Reconciling Ministries Network joins with queer saints and forerunners, with prophets and priests, with poets and pastors, with couples and singles, with Reconciling United Methodists, and with a great majority of the US citizenry to celebrate and honor what has been accomplished, by God’s grace, for queer couples on this day. We give thanks for a surprising God who continues to work outside the boundaries we have prescribed, the norms we seek to enforce, the churches we long to enjoy, and the covenants that belie our baptism. We give thanks for a God who transgresses, who subverts, who upends, who surprises, and who inverts in ways that are neither expected nor, in some cases, permitted.
In addition to today’s landmark decision, the Court rebuffed challenges to the Affordable Care Act and the Fair Housing Act. As threads woven together in a garland of praise, all three of these decisions grant access to marginalized persons who have hitherto been denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While the right to marry affects millions of queer lives around the country for the better, there remains much work to be done. Let this ruling stand as a sign and symbol of what we can accomplish as those who are joined together by Christ, and let the momentum, joy, pride, and exuberance that flows from this decision empower us all to work toward even greater justice and greater equality for ALL people. Let us take today’s grace and work to end the epidemic of homelessness experienced by LGBTQ youth who are kicked out of homes at an alarming rate for who they are and who they love. Let us work for economic justice that poor and working class queer people are afforded shelter, food, adequate healthcare, and a living wage. Let us work to end the epidemic of institutional, structural, and systemic racism that affects LGBTQ people of color who have a right to live in peace, free from abuse, discrimination, and police brutality. Let us work to end the ongoing violence committed against Transgender women of color whose lives continue to be taken as a result of racism and Transphobia. Let us remember that #blacklivesmatter. Let us celebrate by committing ourselves to those undocumented queer siblings whose families are dismantled by deportation, who live in constant fear, and whose lives are embraced by the welcome of Christ Jesus. Let us turn today’s joy into tomorrow’s justice since.
Today, God has brought love into the public square and called it justice. Today, God’s revelation comes not through Church but through Court. As United Methodists, we lament even as we celebrate that the church trails the Court in pronouncing a blessing upon the lives of LGBTQ persons. We lament, even as we celebrate, that the Church has yet to recognize Imago Dei embedded within the faces of queer people. We lament, even as we celebrate, that while love wins—it has yet to win in the Church for LGBTQ persons. We lament that while God joins us together, we are continually put asunder. As long as LGBTQ persons are denied a place at the wedding feast, the great Welcome Table of Christ, the gospel is yet to be realized, the wine remains untasted, and the celebration cannot be fully realized.
So, today, we leave the Church and take to the streets following Jesus who goes before us as celebrant at a Welcome Table set especially for Queer people and all who long for bread, for cup, and for life.
Today, Reconciling Ministries Network calls on The United Methodist Church to join us in celebration in the streets by ending the harm levelled against Queer people through oppressive policies and abusive theology. Today, Reconciling Ministries Network calls on The United Methodist Church to follow Jesus who goes before us and who seeks to wed us to the gospel of Love that the world may know fullness of life. Today, Reconciling Ministries Network calls on all clergy who believe in the gospel to marry qualified persons of the same sex according to the pattern of Biblical Obedience. Today, Reconciling Ministries Network calls on the whole church to recognize the gifts, talents, and graces of Queer people who are called by the God of grace to ordained ministry in the church. Today, Reconciling Ministries Network calls on The United Methodist Church to behold—in baptism, in ordination, in eucharist, and in marriage—Let those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.
*Featured photo courtesy of Baltimore Washington Area Reconciling United Methodists