Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 24, 2013
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 24, 2013
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Let joy be part of your blessing today
"As they were going along the road, they came to some
water; and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water! What
is to prevent me from being baptized?'"
I once attended a marvelous retreat hosted by a Seattle
church consisting of mostly gay and lesbian parishioners
and seekers. The facility had an outdoor hot tub and
the retreat concluded with the minister offering Christian
baptism to anyone who believed in Jesus Christ. As the
retreat participants joyously sang a cherished hymn,
"Shall we gather at the river," there was a spontaneous
change in phraseology, to "Shall we gather at the hot
tub." Several came forward and made their confession of
faith before being immersed in the waters of baptism.
Truly, this was a day of rejoicing.
Gay or straight, the New Testament story of Philip and the
Ethiopian eunuch (whom some contemporary scholars believe
to be a gay man) offers every reader an invitation to
Christian baptism. As the eunuch experienced new faith
in God, he asked Philip a soul searching question, Is
there anything to stop me from being baptized?
Homophobic churches often cause gay, lesbian, bisexual,
and transgender seekers to feel unloved and unacceptable
to the very core of their being. Some have been tragically
refused Christian baptism because their sexual orientation
was known and condemned. As a result, many carry deep
spiritual wounds of guilt, shame, violence, anger, and
bewilderment to the world's hatred, violence, rejection,
But the Ethiopian eunuch shows us how the good news of
Jesus Christ embraces all seekers, and he demonstrates
how to experience the message of God's inclusive love
with gratitude, acceptance, and joy. Immediately ready
to receive the blessing of baptism as a new believer in
Christ, the Jesus story became more than a mental image
for him. It went to his heart and became action.
I thank God for the growing numbers of welcoming churches
who proclaim a non-homophobic gospel message of divine
grace, love, and inclusion. They can be easily found
through Internet search engines by typing in key words
such as "gay and Christian." These represent a growing
global voice of faith worth investigating with an open
heart and mind.
Learn to love your life and accept yourself as precious
to God. Begin sitting with sacred words as the Ethiopian
eunuch did. If you have never been baptized, consider it.
Ask the Spirit for understanding and guidance. Let joy
become part of your spiritual blessing today. Is there
anything to stop you from receiving your blessing today?
(Hinson, E. Glenn. Editor. "Spirituality in Ecumenical
Perspective," p. 190.)
God, give me heartfelt joy today and the understanding of
the Ethiopian eunuch. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line
using your credit card! http://www.ChiRhoPress.com
"Living as the Beloved" is available for $20.95 each,
plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are
$15.75 each, plus shipping and handling. You can find
it at http://tinyurl.com/Living-as-Beloved.
United States customers, please remember when ordering
on the Web site secure server to select "US Postal
Service Parcel Post" rather than the default setting
of "UPS Ground." It is much less expensive!
To unsubscribe, ChiRhoPressfirstname.lastname@example.org