Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Total exhaustion.

I'm physically exhausted by the lack of sunshine; not an unusual situation, living in MN, but it's unusual for me.  I haven't suffered from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) before, but I'm displaying all the symptoms at present.

I'm sick of having to fight for my right to love and marriage and ordination.  The longer I am at Luther, and the longer I engage with the wider church and preaching community (through Twitter and blogs and the like), the more I encounter people whom I think have no right to preach, because their theology is bunk; but I am not active in trying to systematically deny their ordination.  The same cannot be said for them and for my ordination.  I am tired of this fight.  I am shocked that we are still having it, but mostly I am tired.

I am frustrated then on a larger scale with trying to teach what I know about G-d and about Jesus and about what the church could be, about liberation and shalom and welcome and family and mercy and love and righteousness, when I am preaching basically in opposition to many - some who will receive my same degree from my same seminary and have my same "vocation."  I am meeting and encountering people who will receive an M.Div from Luther, just like me, who are happy and proud to go into the world chasing my queer brothers and sisters out of the church with sticks and stones, and thus creating more people that I have to go chase down and explain "No, listen, that's not actually what church is about."  This pisses me off, to use the vernacular.  How am I supposed to get people fed and nourished and fulfilled when other people wearing the same collar - preaching in the same denomination - are creating more pain and destroying more lives?

And I am so exhausted and disheartened on the very large scale of how hard the faith is.  Not believing in Jesus, per se, or even in G-d, but in the things we do in Christianity.  We use religious texts with metaphors entirely alien to us.  We call upon our youth to read the lectionary texts in church, to talk about the "cedars of Lebanon" and such, with absolutely no context presented and no time for proper explanation.  Some of our best hymns have bad theology, or at least theology that worked a hundred years ago but can't now.  And some of the good new hymns, the praise and worship music, are similarly bound by language and supremacy.  And liturgy is boring to some and totally alien to others, and yet so beautiful to me and many more.

How can I do this?  How can I spend the rest of my life trying to explain so much, to so many, who come from so many places? And so much of this - in accord with what Paul said - is actually illogical and unexplainable.  A stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.  It is hard enough that I preach G-d crucified, an impossibility and an offense... but I also preach from a book written at least two thousand years ago, written by Middle Eastern men oppressed by foreign powers and freed by a G-d who led them through the desert in a pillar of cloud and fire.  

I know that in a few weeks I will feel much better and my present crisis of call will be over (or at least mitigated for the time being).  But today I am so damned tired.

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