By: Rev. Amy Johnson, Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice, UCC National
In a recent UCC webinar, one of the panelists reminded us that the Caribbean roots of Carnival included people incorporating ancient religious rituals for cherishing their bodies through diet and spiritual practices, as a way to preserve those rituals when colonizers shamed them and forced them to worship in other ways. Even as their practices were prohibited and punished by powerful European men, people found ways to preserve the ability to practice their sexuality and gender beyond a binary and revere pleasure as sacred.
The trauma Christianity has imposed on generations of humanity about bodies, relationships, genders, sexuality and pleasure is multi-generational and present in our very DNA. Today, just as long ago, we long for a messenger to prepare the way of healing, peace, flourishing, sacred ritual and glimmers of holy pleasure to heal human-inflicted trauma.
As is often true—we are the ones we have been waiting for.
If we are those with cisgender privilege, we have a particular stake and unique work to do in this prophetic way-making. May we raise our voices and cry out in the wilderness of legislators restricting bodily autonomy and those who use faith as a weapon against our beloved siblings. We can be the ones putting ourselves on the line to prepare the way of flourishing for trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming kin. We can collaborate and be in solidarity to co-create paths to justice for all genders, all bodies, all identities. This decolonizing work, this abolition vision, is our sacred calling as messengers of God’s love and liberation.
Way-maker, prepare us for our wilderness callings:
to be voices crying out for freedom for all bodies;
to be path-clearers of obstacles to your dream of ever-expanding love;
to be messengers of the day of joy and delight that is surely coming for us all. Amen.
Artwork: “Peace, Freedom, Solidarity” by Jessica Thornton.
Used with permission CC BY-NC-ND
Find more at Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative
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