Monday, April 03, 2006

Morning chapel at Yale

I'm a Visiting Professor at the Yale Divinity School this semester, teaching a course called "Sexuality Issues for Religious Professionals." Today, my students led worship in Marquand Chapel for the Yale community.

The word indeed became flesh. All of the work we've been doing this semester came together. They broke the silence that so often exists in our churches about sexuality. They prayed, they quoted sex positive Scripture, they preached their own stories of silence in the church.

Emily Scott ended her prayer this way,

Holy Spirit, breathe among us.
Move us to do God's work.
So many of your children experience pain and brokenness
Associated with sexuality....
We are religious leaders.
If we do not speak to this pain and brokenness, no one will.

God, help us to do your work in the world, as embodied people,
Made in your likeness.

The closing hymn they chose was "Spirit I Have Heard You Calling." Tears rolled down my face as we sang,

Spirit, I have heard you calling...
I have heard you in my longing,
I have heard you in my pain.
Now, I feel you moving in me,
Feel you burning like a flame...

Now your love defines my longing,
Now your love shines through my pain,
Now we dance in endless union,
Singing out creation's name.

The opportunity to teach seminary students about sexuality and to witness their gifts of ministry unfold in this area is a precious blessing. The Religious Declaration ends, "God rejoices when we celebrate our sexuality with holiness and integrity." Surely God rejoiced this morning.

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