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a sermon on risk and call

Reed Fowler shared the sermon at St. Luke’s on Sunday, June 3, 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:

“Here I am.”

This is a vulnerable, and risky, statement. It encompasses Samuel’s entire being, his strengths as well as his growing edges, inexperience and knowledge. God calls his full, embodied being.

Samuel is called by name. Right now, the turn into summer reminds me so strongly that we are in Pride Month – a month of born out of a protest, when trans women of color and drag queens and butches refused to lay down for the police yet again, but instead boldly took space at the Stonewall Inn, saying, “here we are”, in our queerness, in our community. By calling Samuel directly, God affirms the value and importance of our naming’s.

And as a queer seminarian, Samuel’s call story is a path-marker I return to in times of doubt. God calls unlikely people, by name, to bear God’s Word, without asking them to change their core. And in doing so, God asks us to risk a radical shift in perspective. I’ve had to do more reckoning with my identity the first year of seminary, claiming being a person of faith, then I’ve ever had to do while coming out as queer and trans. Because following God’s call means letting go of the structures of White capitalism that I’ve been taught since before I was Samuel’s age. It’s offputting. It’s offputting to know that iniquity, that genocide, inhumane and unholy actions are the foundation of what is normed in society. And that God calls us to name these iniquities, as Samuel did for Eli.

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