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Stingy Hearts Cannot Bless or Be Blessed: Blessing LBGT Marriage
We do not bless heterosexual marriage because the couples are worthy,
but because we value the institution and its power to effect good
things in the lives of ordinary people.
Do heterosexual couples fail to live up to our expectations? Every
couple does. Do we stop making marriage available or reduce our
expectations of it? Of course not.
I know God's presence most poignantly in my relationship not when
Ernest and I are nice to each another, which is most of the time, but
when one of us is caught in his own selfishness or otherwise least
'lovable' or 'worthy.' When one of us is his 'worst self,' again and
again the other continues to love, continues to call the offender back
to his best self. That is not 'natural.' That is of God. ubi caritas
et amor, deus ibi est.
"We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the
world you have created." (Supplemental Liturgical Materials authorized
by GC 1997)
While I wish the world's scorn and the church's stinginess would
cease, lbgt couples have often redeemed the scorn, in that it steadily
reminds us to take responsibility for our marriages that so many deny
to be marriage or wish would go away. The scorn steadily reminds us
to work at marriage and not take each other for granted.
The Church blesses and solemnizes marriage, or refuses to bless and
solemnize -- matters of great consequence, but blessing and
solemnizing do not make marriage happen. Couples marry themselves.
God is already blessing lbgt marriages abundantly, full measure,
pressed down and running over, irrespective of the church's
willingness to do so.
The church's blessing of lbgt marriage will bless heterosexuals as
well as lbgts. A stingy heart is a severe burden to sustain,
especially for a disciple of Jesus.
God requires us to 'love mercy,' not just to do it.
"The quality of mercy is not strained. It falleth as a gentle rain
from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed. It blesses
him who gives and him who receives. It is an attribute of God
himself." (Portia in MERCHANT OF VENICE)
L., Lay deputy from Nwk, Member of Executive Council
Drink from Samaritan Wells!