Leading up to the Special Council on Human Sexuality in April, the Reformed Church in America has published a series of 21 devotionals to help the denomination and participants prepare. We encourage all Room for All supporters to sign up to receive these devotionals via email and follow along as we pray for the church and particularly those LGBTQ people who are participating.
In addition, Room for All has commissioned a series of 21 Inclusive Prayers and Devotionals written by supporters and friends of Room for All to coincide with and complement the RCA’s series. We will publish those here on OUTsights over the next 21 days.
These readings and prayers are solely the words and opinions of each guest writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Room for All, their staff, or the board.
A devotional by Rev. Bruce Cornwell
“…giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Colossians 1:12
A few days before Christmas, I received a phone call from a man named Ray. He was seeking financial assistance. I’m always skeptical of such calls but, after vetting him, I was convinced his need was legitimate and so I agreed to meet with him. Ray, it turns out, was a 50-year-old gay man actively dying of AIDs. He was from a western state, but had traveled to the northeast in order to reconnect with his estranged parents who, upon learning that he was gay, had kicked him out some 30 years earlier. Unfortunately, when he arrived, he discovered that his parents’ attitudes about homosexuality had not changed and they disinherited him a second time. Ray was devastated.
The letter to the Colossian Church was written to Gentile Christians who, historically, had been considered outsiders by the guardians of Israel’s faith tradition. Clearly, however, times have changed and the hearers of the letter are encouraged to give thanks to the Father who has enabled them “to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.” The author is using the imagery of inheritance to address the issue of belonging. Obviously, the Colossians are considered part of the family now.
Who is “to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light?” That is the question our denomination is once again wrestling with. Who is part of the family? Who is not? Who belongs? Who does not? Ray, by the way, is a member of an RCA church. Does he belong? Or doesn’t he? Is he to be disinherited or is he “to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light?” May those called to address these questions on behalf of our denomination “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
Who determines who is to inherit? The parent? Or the Child?
Father, we seek your guidance as we, your children, struggle with our different perceptions of human sexuality within your family.