Week 3: 20.06.21. Storm in a Teacup

Proper 7 (12) Fourth Sunday after PentecostMark 4:35-41

When we are stirred up and weaponised our flesh and our souls are torn and discarded.

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.

He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

Sometimes we are treated like that storm that Jesus stilled. Hyperbole and division stirs up stories that are not based on facts. Tall tales which distort and twist and use our lived experiences to create debate and division. No wonder that LGBTQ+ people often wonder if God cares about us. But God also calms the storm. We wait actively, telling our truths, creating change, for the day in which we are heard and seen as we truly are. May it be so, Amen.

Reading with an inclusive lens:

As we explore ‘Queering the Lectionary’, one of the areas of learning is inclusivity. You may not wish to focus, in worship leading or Bible study, entirely on the topics introduced in this resource. Nevertheless, you should consider inclusivity every time that you speak in church, especially if you are speaking ‘from the pulpit’. Each week, I will suggest some micro-aggressions (little hurts that can build up to cause great harm) that some LGBTQ+ people might experience when listening to people speaking about these texts.

This week’s micro-aggressions:

  • Falsely conflating faith with fact.
  • Criticising doubting/lack of certainty.
  • Suggesting that the disciples should have just ‘shut up and put up’ with the storm that they found themselves in.

Reading with a queer lens:

Another area of learning is how we might apply a queer lens to each week’s readings. You may wish to focus, in worship leading or Bible study, on queering the text. Each week, I will draw out some topics that you may wish to consider:

  • What are some of the divisive storms that are stirred up around LGBTQ+ lives today?
  • The importance of prioritising lived experience.
  • The complexities of truth.

Making connections:

One of the limitations in this resource is it’s focus on the Gospel. I am the first to admit that, as someone with a ministry that regularly involves speaking outside of the Christian ‘bubble’, it feels easier to focus on Jesus. Nevertheless, making connections between the Gospel and other readings in the lectionary can help when drawing out queering themes. Each week, I will point to text from other lectionary readings that connect to the possibilities which I raise above:

In Job 38, we read the words “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Often, when debates become polarised, toxic, or violent, the storm is stirred by untruths being reported in the media. Before you make up your mind about any aspect of LGBTQ+ rights, consider speaking to, or reading articles and posts by, a wide range of LGBTQ+ people about our lived experience.