the divine scoundrel

the divine scoundrel

At a time where many of us are questioning our abilities and purpose in life, wondering if we are good enough to be a teacher, minister, mechanic, doctor, counselor, customer service representative; I felt compelled to revisit this sermonette I wrote for my first preaching class in divinity school.  We were asked to write a very brief sermon on a biblical villain.  I responded to the prompt in a perhaps unorthodox manner, opening a door to a theological world that challenged me to look beyond the traditional confines of doctrine to a colorful world in which G-d became alive.  It began a passion and ministry for deconstructing the question “what does it mean to be made in the image of G-d?”  My hope through this revised and expanded  queer homilette  is to offer a place to begin reconstructing our wholeness, reminding myself and others that despite our flaws and bloopers, we are created in the image of a G-d who loves, affirms, and celebrates us (an ongoing writing journey and experience of faith).    

The Divine Scoundrel

When we think of Biblical villains, scoundrels, vixens…you know, those questionable people we need to avoid or aspire to be the opposite of, our knee jerk reflexes are often Judas, Pilate, Pharaoh, Delilah, Herod, Jezebel…all the people we were taught were really sinful and bad in Sunday School or CCD.

However, as I reflected over the idea of a biblical villain or scoundrel, I asked myself:  what about     G-d…YHWH…Elohim…the Almighty?

Perhaps a bit sacrilegious…escandaloso…profane, but as we read and wrestle with the stories of our faith, we encounter a G-d who has done some very “mysteriously holy good” things such as:
Destroying cities…
wiping out whole communities of people…
smiting two boys for offering the wrong incense…
sending plagues…
hardening hearts…
giving leprosy to a woman who complained…
allowing the chosen people to be enslaved, tortured, and exiled…
sending a child to be crucified…

Just as we believe that G-d loves all of us, bloopers and all, we too must love and embrace all of G-d, not just the warm, fuzzy stories within Scripture but the entire word with its contradictions, inconsistencies, and confusion.   It is this messiness and not so pretty face of G-d that invites us to appreciate the divine humanity, holy confusion, and “amazingness” within the one called  “I am.”

The Almighty is complicated, quirky, and screwed up…just like me, just like all of us.  After all, we are all made in G-d’s image.  Our challenge is remember and embody that we are a reflection of G-d; many people forget about this and blow out the spark within themselves and others—as people of faith and people of good will, we are called to rekindle the spark that goes out and find ways to make our lights shine.

For many within the Christian world, especially the Catholic world, we get caught up in bashing ourselves for not being good enough, for being sinful—we punish our bodies, our hearts, our souls, our families, our communities for not living up to an unrealistic (and I would argue unhealthy) sense of divine perfection.  However, perfection is not the absence of flaw, but the willingness to find and reflect G-d in the snarky and faith-filled aspects of our lives.

It is this Divine Scoundrel who invites us and challenges us into the trenches to wrestle with counter-narratives that go against hegemony and the status quo of ableism, heteronormativity, whiteness, thin-ness and all the other isnesses.  Our faith compels us to risk the scandal of widening the circle of celebratory acceptance and radical inclusivity by sitting at the table with the person living with AIDS, a person addicted to drugs, the survivor of sexualized violence, the corrupt politician … even a person who disagrees with our theology, sexual ethics, political ideology, or cultural practices.   The scandalous divinity that created us, made us in Her image not to be comfortable but to live a life of justice, to be prophetic … to stand in sacred, sassy, social solidarity advocating for those who are raped by society, our churches, our schools, our legal system, and by us.

For despite all the power, wrath, and vastness, G-d took the time to create me, stick with me, abrazarme, carry me, drag me…to love me.  G-d gave each of us a voice and the ability to create scandal not for mere shock value but to be partners and lovers in creating justice and sanctuary. Mi Dios lovingly risked scandal by loving us and loving through us; and She would have it no other way!!!   Amen!!!  Que asi sea!!!

About delfinwaldemar

i am a native of miami, fl and i am of cuban and salvadoran heritage. i am a social worker and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and justice—specifically around lgbtq issues. i have a master in divinity as well as a master of social work. as an activist scholar of faith, i am interested in creating spaces where individuals and communities are safe and challenged to explore identity, expression, gender, and orientation in their complexities. i enjoy cooking, eating, laughing, writing, photography, eating more, “queerying” theology, and spending time with family and friends--especially my dearly beloved (while also driving him crazy). my approach to life is rooted in la lucha (the struggle)—lifting up our stories and experiences to inspire creative and authentic conversations and actions that thrive outside boxes transgressing dominant narratives. i hope this space will provide folks who feel isolated or disconnected from communities, especially religious one, an opportunity to wrestle and reconnect and re-member and simply be with the sacred. being raised roman catholic, i have felt marginalized and alone because of who i am within my church community--my queerness bars me from being able to pursue ordination and so this blog will be a space for me to share my journey of faith through homilies, pictures, liturgies, rants, prayer is that this space become a pulpit and sanctuary, a new way of living into our call to radical holiness juntos...a place where you, me, G-d will caminar juntos y juntas en la lucha. Amen.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Queer Theology Synchroblog 2012

  2. Pingback: LGBT Bloggers Write on “The Queer God”. | Queering the Church

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