As one, let us affirm some aspects of
the faith that binds us into one family.
We believe in a God
who made all of us in Their image
and proclaimed every member of Their creation
We believe that Xe extends a special care towards those
whom the world calls “broken,”
“worthless,” “unclean” —
and that Xe calls us to repent, reform, and rebuild
when we are the ones who call others broken,
when we are the ones who aim to break them.
We believe in a God who gathers
more and still more people into Her own family,
a family that breaks human binaries
of blood ties and national borders,
demographics and doctrines.
We believe that She extends a special invitation
to all those who find themselves cut off
from their human family:
to the orphans, the eunuchs, the foreigners;
to immigrants, the imprisoned, and the institutionalized,
to members of the disability community, LGBTQA+ community,
and all those whom our societies shuns and shames.
God has this special care for the disowned and disenfranchised
because Xe Xemself knows what it is to be the stranger,
the one who does not fit,
whose ways and thoughts are deemed
incomprehensible, incompatible, or even insane.
As Jewish poet and professor Joy Ladin writes in her book The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective,
“…The human rebellions and divine rages of the Book of Numbers make it clear that even after decades of wandering with God in their midst, to the Israelites, God remains a stranger, a deity whose feelings and actions make no sense to them. Perhaps that is why God repeatedly commands the Israelites to accommodate and include ‘the stranger who dwells among you,’ the non-Israelite who embraces the Israelite community as home. For God, the inclusion of those we see as different is not a disruption or a distraction for religious communities; it is an essential religious practice, part of making a place for the ultimate stranger, God.”
We believe that God commands
any community that professes to follow Them
to do Their will
by acknowledging when we have shut out
members of God’s family,
seeking meaningful reconciliation,
and drawing our circles ever wider.
We believe that the Holy Spirit
empowers us in this work
so that we may join Her in ushering in
the Kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed:
A Kin-dom without hierarchy,
where all oppressive systems will be broken down
and all live in true kinship with the God who made us.
I wrote this piece for a worship service on Mark 3:20-35, the famous “house divided” passage. The sermon and service theme was this:
Jesus redefines family in a way that defies any human-created definition of superiority, and in that definition, Jesus renounces the behaviors from within the community that threaten the people he gathers.