The Tender Compassion of Our God

October 15, 2006

Daily OfficeI’ve been in Los Angeles for the past few days and it has been so refreshing.

I’ve been meeting with some of my gay and lesbian sisters and brothers, and it is nice to be among friendly faces.  Not that Austin isn’t friendly, but sometimes it takes a place of great diversity for us to realize how wonderful diversity is, and Austin is moving there but not there yet.

The Daily Office for today was helpful for me in that sense:

1 Cor 4:10-13

We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honour, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.

Followed by the story of the Gentile woman whom Jesus first treated as an outcast and then healed her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28).

These two stories remind me how often we, as GLBT people, are treated as outcasts, and also how many before us have been treated as outcasts.  It also gives me so much hope as I recall that none of these conditions ever lasted forever.

One of this morning’s Canticles was particularly poignant for me, from Canticle 16- the Song of Zechariah:

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

In the course of the last few months and especially the last few days, I have become acutely aware of just how different the circumstances are not only around the globe for GLBT people, but even within our country.  While GLBT people here in Pasadena are particularly able to integrate and have healthy spiritual sustanance from local parishes, it is not yet something available in many other places.

That one thing that binds us together is the Holy Spirit.  I believe in the holy catholic Church.  We are one body.  Whether it is the suffering one who cannot yet see the hope of the tender compassion that God offers due to the blindness of a local leader who preaches a legalistic view of God, or whether it is the suffering of a person who suffers from a legalistic view of God and therefore cannot be freed to the tender compassion of God– we are one body.

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace; So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your name.*

Amen.

*BCP, Morning Prayer Rite II Prayer for Mission, p. 101

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2 Responses to “The Tender Compassion of Our God”

  1. naturalhigh Says:

    Thank you. Having recently been inspired by Micheal Lerner and the Network of Spiritual Progessives, I am glad to have found your blog.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for posting!

    I can see how many people are reading, but without feedback it is difficult to say how the posts are being taken.

    Michael Lerner has put out some great stuff.  Glad you have found him.

    Thanks again, and peace.

    j


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