a sermon on porous bodies by Reed Fowler

Reed Fowler shared the sermon at St. Luke’s on Sunday, July 1, 2018. If you missed it, please check out their blog: Reed Fowler: queer seminarian and artist

Here’s a snippet that we hope moves you to read the rest:

The Body of Christ is porous.

Uncontrolled bodily fluids are mostly signs of being unwell – blood, snot, tears, cold sweats – a definition of wellness could be constructed as “the ability to hold your body in boundary”. To have walls up, to be protected, to have a shield.

There are many instances where these borders are undefined, due to illness, vulnerability, or choice. Porous bodies, like the woman’s, are aligned with notions of weakness and femininity in ancient views of disability. Since disease was thought to come from imbalances or invasion, a body that that wasn’t sealed off to external ills or enclosed was more susceptible to disease. Even now, local knowledge around wellness includes keeping wounds clean and covering sneezes and coughs. Her body is considered disabled because of her hemorrhages and gender.

But Jesus’ body is also porous, connected to disability and femininity, and that isn’t how we are used to describing him. Jesus doesn’t notice the woman until the healing is literally pulled out of him. He doesn’t initiate the healing. It’s an osmosis of energy between their two bodies. And their porosity is beautiful.

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