In the Black church, it is common to hear someone say “My, my, my” during the sermon. This happens when the words spoken by the preacher resonates with the listener’s spirit. It is a recognition that Truth has been spoken. “My, my, my” indicates a change of heart, and ideally, when one leaves the pew, a change of behavior.
Given that last week included the Presidential Inauguration on the same day as the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation, we might say its been a historical week. The inaugural speech given by the President included references to Stonewall and the inclusion of the LGBT community as equal peoples which made for a powerful statement. It made me say “My, my, my.” Its power lies in the fact that The President recognized and affirmed the full humanity of our LGBT brothers and sisters in a historical speech on a historical day. On an individual level, it is powerful because as an African-American woman, my president finally affirmed the lesbian/queer part of me.
As a Presbyterian, I am waiting for the policies of the Church to make me say “My, my, my.” When looking at the history of the PC(USA) in its reform to recognize persons of color as full human beings who are welcome to the sacraments of baptism and eucharist, I am compelled to say “My.”
When the Church finally opened its eyes to reform again, including women as Teaching Elders of Word and Sacrament, acknowledging the full humanity of women as equals in the beloved community of Christ, glancing back proudly at that history of inclusion, I must say “My, My.”
I wait with bated breath on the pew of humanity listening to the gospel rooted in inclusion for the day when Intersex, Transgender, Bisexuals, Lesbians and Gays are no longer harassed in our churches and that harassment, both open and nuanced, is falsely legitimized through the name and teachings of Jesus Christ. I, along with my LGBT brothers and sisters, wait with bated breath for a day when those of our community who still, beyond all odds, believe in God and God’s goodness, do not also believe that God has created them as damned because they are attracted to the same gender. I wait, we wait, Christ waits for the day when the Presbyteries of the PC(USA) will happily implement 10-A, and when the Book of Order recognizes our full humanity in Christ so that we may marry those we love, with the full blessings of the church. We have come far in the Presbyterian Church (USA) with reforming for the sake of including all. In the categories of people of color, women, and queer-folk, the Church, as much as it has to be proud, is still entrenched in rightful shame for all of these people groups. My brothers and sisters of the PC(USA) truly I tell you that I cannot wait for that day of LGBT equality in the church where my lips can finally say “My, my, my.”