I'd even go so far as to say I'm really religious. Very religious. The other day I mentioned a look coming over someone's face like they'd just swallowed sour milk after I mentioned my five year old goddaughter wants to be a drag queen when she grows up (true story) the explanation was that the sour faced lady is 'very religious'.
I'm starting to wonder what that's code for. I'm losing my taste for the word homophobia. They're not afraid, they're just assholes. Yes, I said that. I'm still religious even though I said that homophobes are assholes. Even though they use religion as their excuse for being assholes. Sour faced lady wasn't unpleasant except for her involuntary reaction to what I said, and I didn't figure it was the time or the place to explain that half that child's family is gay and she knows a few drag queens. It doesn't really matter. I'm not going to explain to a five year old that she doesn't have the boy parts to be a drag queen... because she's five. She's five and if I go down that rabbit hole it will mess her up because that's too involved and age inappropriate. Even though she told me I needed to do just that...
The ways I'm messing that kid up will have nothing to do with gender. Nope. Not going to happen. I realize that for some people, being religious is defined by what you don't do. They don't believe in women wearing pants. They don't believe believe in women preachers. They don't believe in letting little girls believe they can grow up to be drag queens. They don't believe in homosexuality (It doesn't exist?). They don't believe in Disney movies. They don't believe in smiling. They don't believe in dancing. They don't believe in women cutting their hair. They don't believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, kittens or happiness.
To me that isn't being religious. To me, being religious is about what I do believe in. It's about meeting with the Church to continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship. It's about ushering in the Kingdom of God by making this world suck less. It's about talking to God the way I would talk to a friend. It's about getting dressed up and doing church in a ridiculous amount of pageantry in an attempt to respond to the love God has given us.
Advent is about getting ready for the Lord second coming by remembering his first. That day when instead of riding in on a white horse after having been born into a wealthy family and being groomed to massacre the Roman Empire God showed up in a cave in a Bethlehem after having been born to a couple of peasants who couldn't even negotiate a hotel room. The day when God did yet another unexpected thing and didn't come in with fan fare and parades like he deserved. When he actually came down here and dwelt among us.
All of us. Even the assholes. Even the poor working class slobs who became the twelve apostles. He was born into a carpenter's family and probably spent a lot of time doing that instead of ruling as he should. Because God doesn't want to come in and lay down a new set of rules for us to follow. He wants us to know him. He wants to live with us so he can help us heal from this mess we've made. So we can do something instead of sitting around worrying about the things we aren't allowed to be. Let us put on the armor of light and cast away the darkness.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
|image from MissionStClare.com|