an Educational Forum held at St. George’s Anglican Church, Cadboro Bay
Rev. Elizabeth Welch's invitation:
“…there is no longer male and female, for you are one in Christ Jesus.” 9 Galatians:3:26-28).
This statement in Paul’s letter to the Galatians is striking in its insistence that Christ Jesus breaks down the divisions whereby we categorize some as more worthy than others. In the same statement, Paul also insists, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free.” In one short sentence, Paul subsumes all three of the primary identities considered to be natural and essential under a new identity: Oneness in Christ Jesus.
How will such an over arching transition be made? How can identities that seem essential to the orderliness of society be relinquished? Paul has a clear answer: “faith working through love” (Galatians:5:6b). Even Paul struggled to live fully into the ideal of the love he proclaimed. At times he conceded to conventions of the time, like suggesting that women should cover their heads in church. Yet, again and again, Paul pointed early Christians to the hope that the love of God in Christ Jesus freed all people to share one primary identity: beloved children of God.
Still in our own day, the love of God calls us to have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” that the divisions and differences of this world are not essential, for all of us are children of God. Many of us grew up in a world that understood gender to be essential and to consist of a clear and simple binary. Some of us struggle to understand the language of identities like transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit that carry us beyond these categories. Yet all around us individuals who identify in these ways are crying out to be loved as they are.
This series helps us to live into the question: How does our faith working through love call us to respond? I commend to you this "Wonderful Wednesdays" series that will call us to continue our mission to “live as Christ-centered community that proclaims the love of God to all people.”