Philippians 1:3-9 “3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
It is easy for me to relate to the gratitude that Paul is speaking of here when I think of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m grateful to witness all of the ways the queer community continues to embody the truth of their belovedness for the rest of the church to see. When LGBTQ+ folks speak from the margins, we offer reminders of the gospel. God really is with all of us.
But sometimes, when I think of all of the work that is still left to do to make churches a safe space for LGBTQ+ folks, I struggle to find the confidence that Paul had and wonder just how long it is going to take. When will we see the work completed so that there are no barriers to belonging for LGBTQ+ people? When will we see those on the margins brought to the centre? When will the fullness of the upside down kingdom of Christ be realized?
I don’t know. And yet, what I do know is that despite how much of a struggle seems to lie ahead, I have seen the good work Jesus started in and through LGBTQ+ folks and their allies. I am confident because I’ve seen it in the way chosen families are formed and rally around those who need tangible support in times of crisis. I’ve seen it in stand-in parents and siblings who remind each other that they are loved and not alone. I’ve seen it when people tell me they felt at home for the first time in Christian LGBTQ+ community after they didn’t know it was possible to be totally themselves in a worship context.
The work continues and is bearing good fruit every day. So, today, I will pray for my friends, that they would have strength for the continued work and that we would be joined by more who are willing to work with us. And I will do it with gratitude and joy for the LGBTQ+ folks who are leading the way.
Who are the people in your life that you are thankful for today? How could you let them know you are thinking about them?
Where do you see the ‘good work’ of Christ happening in your community? What step can you take today to partner with those who are participating in this work?
What prayer could you offer for your LGBTQ+ friends and family today?