Just chilling out on a sunny bank holiday Sunday afternoon reflecting on today’s sermon.
The gospel reading was Luke 13:10-17.
The passage which focuses on judgement resonated with a lot of debates I have had recently which have focused on the ‘other’, and in particular their worth or their status of being deserving or not.
A reminder: we don’t get to decide that!
It also resonated with the blogs I wrote:
My childhood was a neat Christianity. I took myself off to church aged 6 with some neighbours, and learned in Sunday school about stories of ‘good and ‘bad’. I sat bored through what seemed like endless sermons warning of evil and sin, and came home to eat my dinner.
I left aged 11 and went through many years of thinking I was an athiest /agnostic/spiritual. I dabbled with churches and christianity. Some were horrendous. Some spoke to me of a God who craves us to seek social justice and to fight for the oppressed.
Today our curate Allan unpacked the gospel in his sermon, talking of the ‘crippled woman’ instead as a woman disabled by society. A woman cast out. And of the people judging being the voices of oppression, the voices that we all face calling us out. The voices saying ‘who does she think she is’ ‘I can’t believe they are doing that on a Sunday’. The voices who like to say a lot, but do little.
The Christianity of my adulthood is not neat and well packaged. Nor does it attempt to construct the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. It’s all as chaotic as I am. We aren’t called to be perfect or pure we are called to go out into the world and serve, love, and disrupt oppression and inequality.
I use social media a lot for my voluntary work, activism, social life, work. It can be an amazing tool. It can also be frustrating, I am frequently watching extremely privileged people moan about things that aren’t problems. They display their privilege with no acknowledgement that they are privileged and the power dynamics that produces with their clients/ audiences.
But I also receive so many emails, blog messages and twitter DM’s speaking out as and for the ‘other’. Those who have been crushed and are rising again. Those who are resisting. Those who are calling people out on their sh*t. Every time this happens I soar a little inside. We can and do make a difference and every shattered part of your life can be glued back together to form something better and more useful.
The parallels between the current drug policy debates and sex work debates are over whelming: harm reduction is key. Saving lives is the most important thing. Conflating legality with morality has never helped anybody. Target OCG’s, but don’t target drug consumers, don’t target sex workers who work together for safety: don’t stigmatise people for making different decisions than you.
As I sit here having a rare chill in the sunshine I am thankful for everyone in my life and the fact I have an outlet online and in my ‘real life’ to voice these thoughts.