Sermon @ MCC-SF – April 27, 2014

Standard

1 John 4:7-12

(Inclusive Language Lectionary)

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and whoever loves is born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God; for God is love.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent God’s only Child into the world, so that we might live through that Child.

10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that God loved us and sent God’s own Child to be the expiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us

Sex Prayer

Illuminata: A Return to Prayer” Marianne Williamson, (pg 174)

Dear God,

May sex, like everything else, be in my life, or not in my life, according to your will.

May it be an instrument of healing, of love and sacred power.

For me and anyone with whom I am joined.

May it’s spiritual secrets be revealed to me.

May all ugliness, cheapness, or loveless sexual thoughts and experience be cast out of my mind and body.

May God’s Spirit enter here.

May I do as You would have me do.

And I know what You would have me know.

And have no experience of anything else.

May I never underestimate its power.

Or the sacred responsibility that is placed in my hands when I so join with another.

May sex be only a sacred practice for me and any other with whom I am joined.

May I know it’s holiness and only that.

Thank you very much.

Amen

Sermon

Good morning (evening) MCC!

First of all, I’m very grateful to Pastor Robert for inviting me to preach here today.

Since the closing of New Spirit, I’ve been slowly getting to know you MCC and am beginning to feel right at home here.

I really enjoyed participating in the All Church retreat a few weeks ago.

I graduated from Pacific School of Religion last May with a Masters in Divinity and a Certificate in Sexuality and Religion.

I’m also a Reiki practitioner and have trained in Shamanic Energy Work.

I am truly blessed by the chaplain residency program I’m current doing at St. Mary’s

Being present with people in the hospital continues to be transformational for me…

I am learning to be vulnerable and to share my compassion and heart with others….to know that I am enough…

Let us pray…

Goddess, Divine Spirit, carry my words on your winds to spark our imaginations, to encourage our roots to grow, and to begin to quench our thirst for your unending love. Amen.

Video

What is Normal? Let’s have a look at this short video…

What is normal?

A man and woman kissing?    A man kissing another man?

A woman kissing another woman?                 Or a transgender person kissing another person?

What is normal in your life may not be ‘normal’ in another’s life?

What was normal for me growing up was boys wore blue and girls wore pink.

Boys played with trucks and girls played with dolls.

It’s okay to toughen up a boy by skinning his knees or elbows but girls are delicate flowers and they must be protected.

When boys wanted to play house they were called sissies (or worse)

And when girls wanted to play with trucks they were called tomboys (or worse).

From an early age we are given these messages that boys behave a certain way and girls behave a different way.

And what about the lyrics of the song?

They seemed to be painting a pretty rosy picture of Love…

Just like falling in love…fits your heart like a glove…

It’s great…it’s got to be…got to be fate…

And really, it looks so easy…yeah, well it might be…yeah, it might be…

It isn’t always so easy for some…

One of the reflections at the Good Friday service was about how difficult finding love can be…

Is that ‘normal’ for most people? For some of us?

There are other words that society uses when they are talking about “NORMAL”

Like…. “Traditional”?    or “Natural”?

People have used these words to diminish the love that some have for others…

TRADITIONAL marriage is between one man and one woman…

It is UN-NATURAL for a man to lie with another man… Or a woman to lie with another woman…

It’s just unnatural, some people say.

What is Normal?

Who defines what is normal?

Society wants to define it…

Governments pass laws to define it…

Many churches try to define it…

Some of our parents tried to…

Even our friends tried to…Perhaps some of them are still trying…

But when it comes right down to it, who is most qualified to define what is normal for us?

We are!

I remember growing up in New York state –in high school back in the late 1970s,

I ‘came out’ to myself and a couple friends that I was “Bisexual”

It was sorta coming out…it was kinda safe…

While I was in the Navy, I was (air quotes) “straight”…

After I got out of the Navy, I came out as ‘Gay’….

A few years later, I dated a few women so I was  back to being ‘Bi’ again…

Then, after a bad breakup with a woman and eventually getting sober, I became a ‘Militant Homosexual’

I was IN YOUR FACE WITH MY GAYNESS!

After a while, my militancy mellowed and I became more of a big ole gay man…

Prior to coming to PSR in 2009, I started noticing that I was finding myself attracted to certain types of women…

How could this be??? I’m a gay man! A big ole queen!!!

Gay men are attracted to men, not women!

That’s what I heard from the gay male culture…

I had feelings of shame for being attracted to bodies other than male bodies…

I began to explore what it was in regards to who I was attracted to and why…

I realized that my feelings of shame were because of the fluidity of my attraction…

I began to realize that this was my ‘normal’…

I recognized that I’m a queer man who is attracted to masculine energy, regardless of gender…

What’s “normal” for me does not have to be “normal” for others…

Let me say that again…

What’s “normal” for me does not have to be “normal” for others…

Jesus was teaching a new normal with his suggestions of loving one’s neighbors and the stranger…

Love your family and friends yes, but not your neighbors and especially not the stranger…

Scripture

Today’s bible reading is proclaiming that new ‘normal’….

In the queer bible commentary, William Countryman examines how this passage connects the love commandment of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew (22:37-39) with the very nature of God…

The very nature of God is LOVE…

And by loving another, we will know God…

There are several forms of love defined in the Christian Bible…

There is familial love…That love we have for family and friends…It is known as Philia in Greek…

There is the unconditional love, known as Agape…

This is the love described in the first reading…

God’s unconditional love is to be shared with others

And in doing so, the very nature of God, LOVE, will be within us…

Another kind of love is the physical and sensuous love…

That desire we have for one another… which is called Eros…

Professor Jay Johnson would tell his classes about the writings of Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury that focused on “God’s desire for us”…

Sex Prayer

The second reading provides an interesting definition for us regarding sex or Eros…

About it having the potential for healing….

That it’s spiritual…

And that it is a SACRED POWER!!!

Perhaps our overvaluing the physical aspect of sex has caused the spiritual aspect of it to be under appreciated?

In western culture, Eros has been repeatedly used as a weapon of shame…

We are inundated with notions of body image and performance everyday…

Old Spice TV ads tell men to smell like a man, man and not use lady-scented body wash…

Or women who don’t look like super models or Barbie aren’t attractive to men…

Many commercials today still have some of the gender stereotyping of the 1960s and 70s…

Shaming like this can be paralyzing for some…

And many of us have been taught that our bodies and sex are dirty and wrong…

We need to relearn that our bodies are sacred…

Irene quoted Pastor Robert a few weeks ago about doing the internal work of self-examination…

We need to do the internal work of self-examination that can help us reclaim the sacredness of our bodies and pleasure…

Tell your neighbor…”Your body is sacred”…

Now tell your other neighbor…”MY body is sacred

May God’s Spirit enter here…

The Sex Prayer is asking God to enter into the Eros we share with others…

            The ‘HERE’ is SEX…

I believe that sex can be a sacred practice… 

I invite you to believe that too?

Let us invite God in when we join with others…

And allow God’s DESIRE FOR US to be manifested in our sacred practices of Eros with others…

Amen

About Rev. Daniel Borysewicz

Rev. Daniel Borysewicz is a progressive chaplain and spiritual leader seeking radical inclusion for all people; regardless of race, nationality, sexual or gender identity, or socio-economic class. Daniel works to provide solutions for problems that individuals have difficulty dealing with; shame and internalized homophobia and transphobia are some examples, and assists in connecting people with others for mutual benefit. Social justice is also an important part of his work. Daniel graduated from Pacific School of Religion, May 2013 with a MDiv and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion and is currently working as a Hospice Chaplain in Walnut Creek and an Assistant Night Minister in San Francisco.

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