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People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration – and LGBTQ people and our family and friends are no different. Throughout the Lenten season, HRC has shared devotionals from faith leaders, LGBTQ people and allies. The campaign seeks to create an environment in which LGBTQ people of faith and their allies can practice the spiritual traditions of their faith in a welcoming, inclusive environment.

The Lenten season marks the days that lead up to Jesus' crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.

For Christians, the resurrection is both a celebration of life and a reminder that people continue to suffer, including members of the LGBTQ community.

Easter marks the end of that journey, and an awakening to new life as Christ himself rose from the dead.

It is important to note that the season of Lent is an observance of many Christian denominations and may not resonate with all readers. Throughout this series, HRC seeks to amplify and honor the voices of LGBTQ-affirming faith leaders in many religious traditions.

Today’s post featured below concludes this series. It comes from Rev. Marie Mainard O’Connell from Park Hill Presbyterian Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more about the Lenten Devotional, visit hrc.im/Lent.


Psalm 23 contains phrases we have long associated with a song of death and trust, but mostly funerals; “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” and yet Psalm 24 follows close behind, an affirmation of the deeper truth. Psalm 24 speaks to the soul, and in the dawn, awakens. Resurrection.  

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for He has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation. Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O gates and be lifted up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates and be lifted up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah  -- Psalm 24, NIV

The Exchange

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;
I am the Lord’s, and those I love, this ground on which I stand and all that exists.

For he has founded it on the seas and established it on the rivers.
“He” indeed. The waters of creation flow and rush and hold, connecting.  

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place?
Who can even approach God? Dare I hope to belong here?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.
But, I have been cast out, cast aside, castigated. Is it possible for me to be accepted?

They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Even me?

Such is the company of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Rest.
I seek the face of God. I pray God seeks me.

Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in.
Open your eyes, look down no more -- prepare to be known, to belong.

Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.
Who is this death-defyer?  It is the power of creation, of love victorious.

Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in.
Open your eyes, your arms. Lift your hands -- Christ enters and makes you acceptable exactly as you are.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Rest.
You belong.  You are free. The God of creation has unmade death for you. Now live.

Live!

May Christ give you strength today.

Resurrected One, Thank You for my existence. Thank You for our connection. Thank You for renewed understanding. Thank You for accepting me, for pursuing me, for reminding me that I belong to You... and the world, just as I am. Amen.


The Lenten Devotional is a faith-driven resource that compiles meditations written by 47 faith leaders from across the U.S. This project and other public education work with faith leaders in HRC's Project One America states and HRC's Religion and Faith Program is made possible in part by the generous support of the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

 

Filed under: Religion & Faith

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