People -- including the LGBTQ faithful -- look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration. Throughout the Lenten season, HRC will share 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 leading 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 observed by many Christian denominations and may not resonate with all readers. With this series, HRC seeks to amplify and honor the voices of LGBTQ-affirming faith leaders in many religious traditions.
Today’s post is a reflection on Luke 24:1-12, and it comes from Susan Cottrell of FreedHearts, a national coalition of parents of LGBTQ children.
For more about the Lenten Devotional, visit hrc.im/Lent.
I love this Easter story. Here Jesus comes alive from the dead and appears to the women gathered at his tomb. These women know Jesus. They’ve spent time with him and they get him.
But the men dismiss their eyewitness accounts. They don’t trust the women’s lived experience with Jesus, true to the values of the society in which they were conditioned and live. But the women know what they know. -- and they know a Jesus who loves and cares.
How often does our conditioning overwhelm our ability to see what is right in front of us? The U.S. has a history of this kind of dismissal -- from redlining people of color out of certain neighborhoods; banishing LGBTQ people and families from churches and their communities; privileging dominant-narrative male voices in business, politics, healthcare, entertainment. These dismissals effectively dominate our collective story, and, oftentimes, these things are done in God’s name.
But marginalized people are like those women. We know what we know, and we know a Jesus who loves and cares.
Peter stepped outside his privilege to truly hear these women. He opened his mind enough to think, “This sounds like Jesus!” In so doing, he discovered a whole new Jesus and a way of seeing Jesus beyond what he already knew. He was the first man to reach the risen Jesus.
How radiant is the living Jesus to those who are willing to see beyond their limited understanding!
May those who love Jesus be open to the real Jesus as he reveals himself -- beyond our boxes, beyond our conditioning, beyond simply going about our business as usual. May we discover a Jesus free, full and lovely—compassionate, caring and kind -- the Jesus we see in the Gospels. That is a Jesus well worth discovering!
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.