by Rev. George Miller
They say that we entering into the Advent Season. For Christians this means waiting for the birth of your Son, Jesus, Emmanuel, which means "God With Us."
It’s supposed to be a time of joyful waiting, the kind that makes you want to hold your breathe, hold out your hopes, and hold up your heart. The kind of waiting that says "Something good is going to happen." The kind of waiting that makes what ever you are going through seem that much more bearable.
As Christians we are waiting for the birth of Emmanuel because we know who he is. He is the one who sat down at the table and ate with all people. He let a woman of questionable background weep over him and clean his feet. He spoke up for a woman and saved her from a crowd bent on "adulteress-bashing". He called a tax collector down from a tree so they could share a meal together. He dared to tell stories in which outcasts where seen in a positive light. He met an oft-married woman at a well, he touched men with skin lesions, he healed people’s daughters and he healed their sons, and he invited all the children to come to him. And as Scripture reports, he never, not once, spoke out against gays or lesbians or bisexuals or transgendered folk.
God, this is how I know your Son. This is who I know your Son to be. Not as others say, not as others claim: full of hate and discrimination. No, I see you Son as the reflection of love and justice, mercy and acceptance, safety and wholeness. This is the Son I am waiting for.
And God, I pray that when he arrives, he doesn’t make himself known just in the manger, or amidst our gifts or Christmas dinner. But that he arrives as well in our hearts, and that he continues to reveal himself more and more to your children. That this year when Emmanuel arrives, he is seen by others in our faces, he is seen in our relationships, he is seen in our families, he is seen in the vows that we share and the promises that we keep.
May this Emmanuel be the one who is known in the courts and classroom, in the halls of government and the strangers on the street. May your Son reveal himself more and more to your people, so that the ways of your kingdom, and not the false ways of the world, watch over the land.
For as Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female, for all of you are one in Christ."
That is who I await for this Advent, that would be the best Christmas present of them all. That we, as members of the LGBT community are not seen as less-then, or targets of hate, or mere lifestyle choices to be decided upon by law or popular vote. But that we too are included in the ideal of becoming one: that we are worthy of respect, worthy of safety, and worthy of love.
So this Advent, we wait Lord, we wait. Do not forget us, your people.