As I move into passages of scripture that have been used as weapons to hurt LGBTQ people for hundreds of years, I ask to remain present to the text, present to the world, and present to the spirit that moves through me the world and the text.
19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; 21for though they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
1) "eternal power;" "...divine nature;" "...understood and seen through the things he has made;" "...they knew God;" "...futile in their thinking;" "...their senseless minds were darkened;" "...Claiming to be wise, they became fools;"
2) "Claiming to be wise, they became fools." That's common enough. I know this in myself. It is probably one of the things that produced the greatest shame in me: when I realized I don't know what I'm talking about. Especially in those moments when I wax on for some time about something I'm sure I know and then someone points out that I'm mistaken. And while realizing I'm wrong produces huge shame in me, when I'm aware that someone else is talking about something they know nothing about, it makes me unreasonably angry... that's shadow. I can't listen to Trump talk about anything. Shameless son of a bachelor... I've read ahead and know that this is all Paul leading up to "stop judging people, because when you judge them you are judging yourself." But "stop judging" is easier said than done. But a place in my heart does get it. I'd be more free if I stopped judging. My judgements hold me captive. They make me foolish when I think I'm wise.
3) What is the invitation in all this? "love the sinner, hate the sin" really just doesn't work. Just stop hating. Let God be the one and only judge.
"Holy One, help me know what is plain about you, understood and seen through the things you have made."
Breathprayer: "Claiming to be wise... they became fools."