This month, we’ll be posting some thoughts from members of our community on the four themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love. This week, we’ll be focusing on HOPE.
Hope can be a loaded word for LGBTQ+ Christians. Many of us have spent our lives hoping and praying that God would make us straight and cisgender, and now realize that is a vain hope. We know viscerally that “it is not good for a human to be alone,” so we hope and pray for Christian same-sex partners (a small dating pool!), or for the strength and grace to live celibately, but the waiting seems endless. Christmas can be a particularly challenging season… many of us have hoped and prayed to spend the holidays around our family dinner table, or singing carols at our home churches, yet these environments remain stressful, triggering, or even hostile to us.
However, we trust in a God who waits thousands of years to watch the universe take shape, and thousands more years to send his Son into the midst of it. We trust in Jesus, who took nine long months to arrive, and thirty years to mature and prepare for his earthly ministry, We trust in the Spirit, who sometimes brings swift winds of revival, but also patiently waits centuries before the church begins to treat women and racial minorities as equals. Our God is patient, and rekindles our hope day by day, reminding us that He will come, and He will be right on time.
I invite you to read and ponder some of the specific hopes of LGBTQ+ Christians (and some of their parents) this Advent, and to join them in waiting for God to fulfill the desires of their hearts.
My hope is to end people’s stigma on what gay is, and for leaders to listen and be responsive to me as a member of the Body of Christ.
I hope that one day I can get married in my home parish without having to go through a whole process with the diocese.
My hope is for celebration rather than silence.
My hope is that God is faithful to me even if I am wrong.
My hope for the church is that Christians will be able to discern all the incredible things that God does in the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
My hope is that we will begin and continue life-giving conversations about sex, being willing to own our fears about and longings for holy connection.
I hope that the world my grandchildren will grow up in will know and experience the love of God in ways that will be unbelievably amazing and surprising. I wish and pray that the church of Jesus Christ will open their hearts and their lives and learn to lead the way.
I hope that all my children, son and partner included, can have a vibrant relationship with Jesus.
I hope that the pain inflicted on people by those who are so judgemental and prejudice would be healed by a caring loving Holy Spirit and a caring loving community.
I hope that our son would give Jesus a chance to be real to him. I hope & pray that he would meet Christians who genuinely love & accept him and he would see the church of Christ at work as it should be.
I hope for love, acceptance, grace, forgiveness, openness, compassion, and healing.
I hope that my asexual child can find meaningful lifetime friendships.
To me, hope means seeing the world through eyes who have nowhere to look but up because they have been shoved to the ground.
Hope means surrendering my expectations and learning in new ways to rest in trust that Jesus has got this.
I hope that I won’t feel guilty this Christmas for wanting to spend more time with my “chosen family” than with my biological family.
I hope for even more unity and even more diversity within our LGBTQ+ Christian community.
I hope for all of my LGBTQ+ friends to know with confidence that they are the Beloved of God.