Consecration Picture, 2003To most of the world, the fact that a group of Episcopal Bishops laid hands on the top of a head of a priest in New Hampshire means almost nothing. Even today, four years later, the majority of the world would say “Who is V. Gene Robinson?” But, as with most prophetic actions, the ramifications take decades to inwardly digest, and make their way into the framework of everyday lives. You see, Fr. Robinson, a beloved priest in the diocese, was elected by the laity and clergy, to become their spiritual pastor, administrator, and Bishop. To most, it would be yet another, ho-hum, who cares. This would not be news worthy, but you see, there’s another part of the story. Bishop Robinson is a divorced man, who came out of the closet, and is openly Gay.

To those who had watched the Episcopal Church lead the way in the area of civil rights, the introduction of a new corporate worship prayerbook in 1979 to replace a theologically bloated, outmoded and Victorian inspired 1928 prayer book, and at the same time allow the inclusion of females to the sacred order of priests caused the authority of scripture to fall by the wayside; this is not true, nor has it ever been the truth.

By consecrating The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson as Bishop, the church took a prophet step to institute, in earthly tangible terms, an attempt to bring about the call of Jesus to say that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Most people, at some time of their lives, whether active in church, or being raised in some form of religious formation, has heard this term: “The Kingdom of God”, but a doubt it has been explained, mostly because it seems a vague monarchist reference which means little or nothing to most people.

God loves you, plain and simple, and wants the best for people, ALL PEOPLE, not just those with whom you agree, or looks the same, of have the same car, or amount of money, or past the test of “your kinda of people”. It means all people, all the time, in all aspects of their life….period. Humanity, in one our most primordial faults, cannot accept this reality and will always try and maintain a status quo to hold on to something which is important to us, no matter how trivial it may be.

Jon Sorbino, a respected and accomplished Liberation Theologian wrote that anyone who prophetically evokes the Kingdom of God will be confronted by the “Anti-Kingdom”. Those who support the anti-kingdom can be anyone, any group, any government, or any church who tries to suppress the reality of God’s pronouncement that all are loved, and all are to be afforded the graciousness of the kingdom.

In order to idolize an age past where it was alright to malign those who are different, to withhold power to those who didn’t fit into a particular pattern of one’s personal or civil accepted manner of life is a sad, and telling form of what feminist Mary Daly calls “Christolotry”, in other words, idolizing Christ so that the work and ministry of Jesus has become a private personal godhead in and of one’s own making.

In this struggle, began by an ordinary priest who happened to be Gay and in a responsible partnered relationship, a man who is neither a extraordinary politician, or a thought provoking theologian, we see the work of the Holy Spirit, the hand of God, and the face of Christ. He, by the hands of the anti-kingdom, is brought to trial before the many Pontious Pilate’s of the world who would see him crucified, vilified, and removed.

Bishop Robinson, in his quite, strong, yet graceful way, moves on, and will continue his walk down the street of tears carrying his cross. No one, in my mind, in this world, has publicly carried such a cross for a long time. We, as GLBT Christians, continue to suffer, continue to look for the Kingdom of God present to us, and with God’s help, can make ourselves known to others in our authenticity. We, as a people, have been offered a chance to accept this grace, but we need to get our hands dirty, and take up that same cross to carry it along side a courageous man; we will loose a lot if we succumb to apathy, or fear, but we cannot wash our hands, more work needs to be done.