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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 24, 2013

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    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
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      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?'"

      Acts 8:36

      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,
      and humiliation.

      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

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