This Sunday’s story, Christ and fellow men are told by God “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”. How many men, and gay men would like to hear that from either their father or indeed God! How many men can even say I love you to another? Unfortunately we are often not loved for ourselves, for being gay by our families. Thankfully my experience is I am loved by God as a gay man unconditionally.
In these verses Jesus is portrayed in the fellowship of men he loved, Peter, James and John. We do not know the sexuality of these men, but we can imagine they would have felt a deep love for each other. Being a gay man, may include sexual attraction, but for most gay men I know, what really makes us gay is the deep emotional connection we feel for other men, as well as sexual attraction some of the time, that is what makes being gay joyful. Not all gay men enjoy this joyfulness all of the time, sometimes only when in the coming of their own when they feel safe.
Thankfully all men, whatever their sexuality, can feel deeply connected to other men. Bromance finds its way into our everyday parlance because some men do experience and can be open to this male bonding. It does not need to be sexual, but it is about love. Deep bonds of love between men can feel very spiritual and uplifting. This is what this Gospel passage says to me as Jesus shares the most profound inner spiritual experience with these men. The love these men have for Jesus is so uplifting they are able to see the deep spiritual experience of Christ.
Wonderfully I can report from personal experience, and that of other gay men, that deep spiritual experiences can be shared between gay men, yes men who have sex with men can know they are loved by Christ. Yes gay men can hear and feel the Divine just as well or with as much difficulty as anyone.
In this gospel we see fear in Peter, James and John which Christ asks them to let go of. Letting go, especially of fear, is quite an Eastern and ancient spiritual approach to connecting with the Divine. How the Divine becomes part of human experience. Christ and God appear through mystical experience and then as fear is lost becomes also ordinary, nothing to be feared, all part of your everyday experience. Everyday vision, which is enriched spiritually without fear. Lets hope the Church can let go of its fear of loving sex and celebrate all who have a calling to Christianity and enjoy a fully open unconditional welcome irrespective of who they are.
I believe that sex when part of unconditional love, is indeed a deeply spiritual thing. In my own mystical experiences Christ has repeatedly made clear to me, that spiritual goodness is not conditional on sexuality in any way. I also appreciate that, perhaps, for most people , they see sex as something quite carnal and transitory and that saddens me. It saddens me that both religion and the secular world seem to miss one of life’s most profound adventures in love.
Perhaps the reason the church aims to control sex is, not just because of unwanted pregnancy, making solid base for parenting or spreading disease etc., but because sex can be a path for anyone wanting deeper spiritual connection. Sex when combined with love is very powerful, super spiritual rocket fuel. This kind of spiritual path is not dependent on attendance on Sunday in Church, or congregation.
When I have had mystical experiences of Christ I have understood how unconditional His love is, both just for you, and for everyone. He shares wonderful experiences in his teaching when you wish to be open to that. Gospels seem to resonate with hidden meaning, and this project is all about the gospels and their relationship with LGBT+ people as seen by a gay man. But the way is to be open to unconditional love, which means letting go of fear, being present, living in love not hate. Not such an easy thing to do for most people.
Image by Lance