“Get Curious!” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

June 21st,2018 Categories: Latest News, Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

This week feels full. Full of love. Full of fear. Full of joy. Full of passion and so much more. What has filled your spirit up this week? For me there has been a mix of anger and fear for the treatment of children at our borders, but also excitement and love for the Juneteenth and Pride celebrations that are happening this week. I invite you to pay attention as the week moves on to what is filling and feeding your spirit? And then please bring that to church with you on Sunday! Just a reminder the congregational meeting starts at 10:30 and then we will be marching in the Pride Parade with Judson Memorial right after church.

This week we were gifted with the second season of Queer Eye on Netflix. Friends, If you have not seen it, I encourage you to do so. It is not the same show that some of us were familiar with 15 years ago. It is five new diverse men, with different gifts, sharing them with everyone they come in contact with. And while the first iteration of the program was all about the physical transformation of the men they came across, the new fab five are much more about the internal transformation that takes place when a person recognizes their own value and worth and emerge more confident in the person that they are called to be. This understanding of confidence as a gift that is shown so beautifully in this week’s scripture from 2 Corinthians.

6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Christ. 10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And Christ died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for the Lord who died and was raised for them.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;[a] even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,[b] we know Christ no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

In the words of Jonathan Van Ness “Can you believe?” What a gift our faith is. This week’s scripture and Queer Eye captures so beautifully what God wants for us, to become new more confident versions of ourselves when we most authentically follow Christ. But that takes work and help from a community. Our scripture says that we once knew a version of Christ that was human, but we no longer see them in that way. Can you imagine what it must have taken for those that knew Christ to make that transition in their understanding? I know that our trans brothers, sisters and neighbors can imagine what that takes from others. I know that those who have been and are enslaved, those in camps at the border, those whose identities are viewed as “less than,” can profoundly understand that as well.

I propose that to honestly and lovingly make that shift in our thinking for all people, the same shift our scripture asks us to do for Christ, we need to be curious. Listening to the stories of others you learn about the different ways God is at work in the world making people anew. Gaining the knowledge and understanding of new spaces in creation not only helps you gain better perspective on people and who they are (and who they might have been) but it helps you be a better neighbor and sibling in Christ. And when we are living more fully as neighbors in our faith lives, we are more confident in ourselves and more confident in who God has called us to be.

Friends, I hope this week you have been curious and that you will continue to question the world around you. May that curiosity inspire your passions both new and old and help you gain new areas of confidence to be your best self. The self that seeks justice and love. The self that God created you to be. The you that was made in the image of the risen Christ.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie