Many of us may have heard the shocking and unjust news of Ginny Mikita’s, forced and surprise excommunication from The United Methodist Church. Here’s a link in case you missed it.
Upon reading this story, an immediate chord of dissonance rang in my ears as The United Methodist Church paradoxically affirms all persons are of sacred worth, yet pedestals the law above love. Time after time, this kind of cognitive dissonance proves continually to be relevant through scriptures, revealing that hearts indeed are still in need of liberation.
In The UMC, discourse tends to take place around order, and sometimes the fruit of such practices leads to oppression rather than deliverance, especially when a person is used for display to maintain such order.
I believe this to be the case regarding our sister, Ginny Mikita.
In marrying Rev. Benjamin and Monty Hutchison, not only did Ginny demonstrate Biblical Obedience, but also -according to scripture – holiness. In Mark 7:1-8, there is a remarkable parallel drawn to this present situation, as the Pharisees vultured around Jesus and the disciples who were openly breaking the tradition of the Elders.
Jesus and the disciples just visited the market and were among diverse people. Upon return, they began to eat without washing their hands. To the Pharisees, this was defiling, unholy, and disobedient, and yet Jesus responds,
“You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
Scripture also points in the passage before, in Mark 6, that Jesus and the disciples were laying hands on the sick and being touched by those in need.
Consistently, Jesus affirms that holiness is being among the people, “dirtying your hands,” and healing their afflictions.
Holiness is engagement with those who do not meet the standards of order according to oppressive laws, and refusing to wash one’s hands as a means of clearing the conscience.
Today, let us lift up our holy sister, join hands in solidarity, and pray for the liberation of our leaders. Let us look at tradition, laws, and order and examine them closely to see if they truly perpetuate holiness or harm. In seeking to be in relationship with those the law abandons, and in “dirtying our hands,” we participate with Christ to bring healing for all.
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