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312Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 7, 2004

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Nov 6, 2004
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 7, 2004


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our new book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev.
      Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the verse from Romans and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      No condemnation

      "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who
      are in Christ Jesus."
      Romans 8:1

      Years ago I received a phone call on New Year's Day.
      A young man named David was dying. His lover was
      with him in the hospital. Their family story is all
      too familiar and tragic. Years earlier, when David
      came out as a gay teen to his father, he was forcibly
      thrown out of the house. David's father was a
      Protestant minister. As David struggled to survive
      on the streets, he became infected with HIV.
      Eventually a kind aunt in a distant city took him
      in and cared for him as her own son. Now David was
      dying. Would I come and pray with him before the

      Although David's father had refused to see his son
      for years, he had flown in to be at his son's bedside
      and was angrily waiting for me at the hospital. He
      rudely interrogated me on my ministerial credentials.
      He demanded to know what I planned to do with his son
      on his deathbed. It was a difficult situation.
      Eventually David's father grudgingly allowed me in
      the hospital room where his son was surrounded by
      loving friends and his life partner. We prayed.
      One by one, all of the loving friends said good-bye.
      We blessed David and thanked him for being such a
      wonderful friend. We assured him of God's gracious,
      gentle love and of the loving welcome awaiting him
      in heaven.

      Then David's father ushered us out. He entered the
      room with an open Bible and began urging his son to
      repent of his homosexuality through reading a passage
      in Leviticus. When David died, his father insisted
      on preaching the funeral service. He publicly
      condemned his son's soul to hell and preached fire
      and damnation to his son's grieving gay and lesbian
      friends. David's father then left to return to his

      In the shocked silence that followed, people were
      unwilling to leave their dear, departed friend with
      such terrible words of rejection. Slowly, a deacon
      who was present opened her copy of the Episcopal
      Book of Common Prayer. She began to read loving
      words of faith, hope, and love appropriate for a
      Christian funeral. She blessed David's memory and
      soul to the loving God who created him gay.
      Together, they prayed in Jesus' name.

      David lived and died as a Christian. The Bible
      tells us that there is no condemnation for those
      who are in Christ Jesus. People need to hear God
      welcomes everyone. God does not discriminate and
      has no preference over any sexual orientation.

      God, thank you for our relationship with you
      through Jesus Christ. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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