I originally preached this sermon at the Northeast Gathering of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), May 3, 2014, at MCC Hartford, CT.
Scripture: Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the widow and the unjust judge.
Before I start, I want to thank all those of you who organized this gathering, and thanks to the members and friends of MCC Hartford, and Aaron, for your hospitality. MCC ministry can be very lonely, and it is always good to have a chance to gather together. Thank you for making that happen!
The theme for today’s gathering has been “A Year of Spiritual Growth and Social Justice.” As I meditated on this theme, I remembered a dear friend who was my first teacher in the intersection of spiritual growth and social justice. Joe was the friend who, in the words of some Christians, “brought me to Christ”, who invited me to stretch my spirit in ways that would spark my conversion experience. He got me started questioning what I’d been taught about gay and lesbian people when he came out to me. When he told me of his diagnosis, I became a person consciously affected by HIV. Joe was the friend who introduced me to MCC. But most of all, Joe taught me how to work for justice in the name of Christ; and when anyone accused him of being a troublemaker, he would smile and say, “Jesus Christ was a troublemaker.” Which, of course, is true.