Sunday, June 26, 2011

Corpus Christi and Pride

The Feast of Corpus Christi, literally the Body of Christ, is celebrated in many churches of the catholic tradition today, transferred from this past Thursday. I have always been strongly drawn to the Eucharistic meal, which I believe is Jesus Christ, though am not going to get into an argument over how what happens when a presbyter consecrates the Bread and the Wine. I don't care how it happens, only THAT it happens. Christ is manifest among us, feeds and sustains us on this Journey.


The Body of Christ is also the People of God, coming together as one. I looked around St Paul and the Redeemer parish today, amazed at how this takes place there. Two folks celebrate birthdays tomorrow: one reaches his second the other, her eighty-eighth; he is white, she is African-American. The Deacon who preached is openly gay, as are several of the rest us. But no one makes a big deal of it because it simply is what it is. It is Corpus Christi : different colors, genders, nationalities, sexual orientations, yet all one in Christ.


Several members of the parish, including the Rector, who is straight, march in today's Pride March, showing the Body of Christ, the People of God, not as something static, but actively incarnating the Good News, being Christ to others. Jesus is all about going after those kept out because they are somehow different, which gets lost in the bucolic narrative known as the story of the Good Shepherd, in which too many people act as if the Lord literally goes out and picks up a lamb that has gone astray, rather than people forced beyond the boundaries. Jesus doesn't worry about what others think about him, because he's doing his Father's business. We can do no less.


In pride, then, we re-member that the body is made by God in God's image and likeness. It is blessed, for what else can it be? No doubt, many excesses take place in our society, by folks gay and straight alike, but that doesn't take away that we need to re-connect with our bodies and honor sexuality, in healthy and wholesome ways. 


To me, as a Christian who happens to be gay (and left-handed, blue-eyed, etc), I am called by my Baptismal Vows to be the Gospel in action and honor the body which God has given me. That's not always easy. Walking with Jesus is costly, for grace isn't cheap. But God Incarnate understands because God walked and continues to walk in our shoes. With the Beloved, we are proud of where our history has brought us, and thankful to be the Body of Christ in a world that so needs Jesus' message of compassion, justice and liberation.
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