What is in a name?

whats-in-a-name-that-which-we-call-a-rose-by-any-other-name-would-smell-as-sweet-love-quote

In the Bible…humans are naming creatures…..

And let’s face it…

We love to name things.

Who wouldn’t love to name a dinosaur?

How about naming children?

What about when we tell a story, analyze it and figure out what is really going on so we can “name it”. Its important, its our job….its fun 🙂

Pretty much, we are learning creatures, and we love to name things.

So why do labels matter? Why does it matter what we call God? Why do we have so many names for God anyway…Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Light, Hope & Salt. And occasionally even refering to God as “She” you know for all the mothering, growing, birthing language

because we are naming creatures

So….when it comes to sexuality & gender which we suck at talking about in the church (to put it lightly)–this naming act is so important.

So…if you want to know why saying what your gender is, what pronoun you want to be referred to…and what kind of sexuality you express is so important…

(i.e. why this is so important)

SOTU

….its because we are naming creatures.

God made us fluid beings, full of creativity and the ability to love. The ability to find new ways of expression.

Since when is life so limited

Since when is God so limited

I bet a thousand years from now we will still be discovering new, fantastic ways of being and naming them right and left….

because we are, at heart, a people who love to name things

And when someone names themselves for us…we should listen carefully and give that name back to them–in the pastoral and psychological world we call it reflective listening…after all we have a lot of things to name ourselves

Love

We like to limit God

to say God only believes in one kind of love

two kinds of genders

and sexuality is easy to define–

placing all those who don’t fit into these “normal” parameters into a category of…

“sorry God just messed up when God was making you”

“God only believes that these aspects are valid in a human being”

“You are an invalid human being”

Don’t even get me started on ethnicity and differently abled folk

Seriously…what kind of mediocre God are you preaching about…

My God has way more flexibility, creativity and love

My God is so good that I fall to my knees before the Trinity–overwhelmed with a need to love & accept people for who they are in the way that God’s Wild Love can….

and if you say your God is very different from mine…I’m inclined to agree with you….Your God is a lot tamer than mine!

Christianity<–straight up!

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

You see, Aslan is not just a lion, but he’s a great Lion. He’s the King of the Beasts, and the real ruler of Narnia. Now, Susan asks the beavers, “Is he safe?”

Mrs. Beaver says, “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

Lucy asks, “Then he isn’t safe?”

And Mr. Beaver says this famous line about Aslan: “’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”  The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Why do we want to limit love anyway?

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

College Student’s Wisdom about the church today

"I Said I Don't Know."--and Other Answers to Hard Questions

Church,

I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re not familiar, here’s the song:

Stop–did you watch it? Watch it.

Before the song, Macklemore spoke really…

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Marriage is important, but LOVE is even moreso

305278_844352798272_871992134_nMarriage is important, but LOVE is even moreso

If I speak in the tongues of humanity or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

What it comes down to…are we on the side of love?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

All we need is Love (doo-doo-doo-d00-d00) All we need is love (doo-doo-doo-doo-doo)

What if the Good Samaritan was really conflicted…????

You know what, “helping” people isn’t always as clear cut as it seems. There seems to be no real way to be a “hero” in bad situations so often you are making the best decisions that you can (you know those times when there is no “right” thing to do or say, you just try to make better instead of worse decisions). Some of those choices are fun like “Should we have children?” for (most) people there isn’t a “right” answer, its just that one solution seems to be “better” than the other…

Then there are the situations where you are helping people. In helping people, its important that you are

a. actually helping (in my family we say it isn’t really helping if a person doesn’t want help–think about that in terms of life, family, addiction, etc.)

b. Setting clear and consistent boundaries (ie making sure you take on a good level of responsibility and that the other person is clear on where their responsibilities lie)

c. You can be sane after the help is given, because sanity is a really, really good thing.

This leads me to the good Samaritan story. What if the person who was left half-dead on the street had some situation where it wasn’t clear that helping him was the best thing to do…maybe it gets the helper into trouble, maybe there had been a story of someone helping a half-dead person earlier that week and getting beat up for it. What if the Good Samaritan knew he would be reviled for helping this Jew. (I think this is something like Jean Val Jean helping Javert, or maybe a Gay person-who is known to be gay-helping Rush Limbah or somesuch evangelical who categorically hated homosexuality)…

So much for being a hero, heh?

But it makes me wonder about Jesus’ call to care for our neighbors, when are we really helping them? How much are we called to sacrifice? What situations are “too much” and when are we neglecting our Godly duty to help others by crossing the street and getting on with the business of our own lives, which already loom so heavy…….

This is a Public Service Announcement

Please note: Jesus (while saying nothing about homosexuality) was crystal clear that our primary purposes as Christian were to love our neighbor as our selves, care for the sick, help the poor and empower the marginal…the next company/church/protestor/athlete etc. who claims to be Christian really should show how they are following Jesus’ many life changing commands, that’s what real Christianity is, and if anyone tells you differently, they need to spend some time in deep conversation with God (prayer). Please stop fooling yourself and pretending that Jesus was about politics, money and grandstanding (that would be your humanity showing)…that is all…

 

PS what is the most “Christian” thing you have ever witnessed?

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