Hebrews 4: 1-2
“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.”
What is it for LGBTQ+ folks to enter the rest of God? What is needed for that experience of rest? How might churches and allies participate in facilitating that deep rest?
For many LGBTQ+ people fighting for a place at the Lord’s table, a microphone at the pulpit, or simply a comfortable chair to sit in in our churches or denominations is a work that seems to leave no room for sabbath rest. Even when we choose to step away, to walk out the door or to search for an agape meal that embodies radical welcome, many of us still engage in the labours of grief, the construction of new homes and families, and maintenance of protective boundaries against those whose calloused and careless words might trigger and re-traumatize, bringing it all crashing down into anger. For many of us, rest isn’t as simple as creating intentional silent space in our week. For many of us entering into the rest of God means seeking belonging with those whose embrace feels like coming home into sabbath. It means meeting eyes with those whose gaze proclaims our belovedness. It means knowing in our inmost being that we are welcome and safe to be the image-bearers God has made us.
What does this mean for the church as a whole? For pastors? For allies? For people who love their LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ? Perhaps the answer can begin to be partially found in reflecting on, “Who is to do the work to find the answers to these questions?” Tools like the Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming campaign activate those who can already access a place of rest to speak up and take tangible action to begin cultivating spaces that allow for sabbath for LGBTQ+ people in the church.
What does sabbath rest look like for you? How might unspoken or too often spoken dynamics in your church be preventing rest for the LGBTQ+ people in your congregation?
What unseen labour are the LGBTQ+ people in your denomination or church engaged in? How might you act to help ease the yoke of you LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ?
How might the Tell Your Pastor #ImAffirming campaign play a part in cultivating sabbath rest for LGBTQ+ people of faith?