For many people in our congregation, this really does feel like ancient history and some young people may wonder why we feel the need to remember the past. I heard a brilliant quote recently “History should be our inspiration, not our jailer.” We enjoy so many freedoms today, because of the hard work and determination of those who went before us, fighting injustice, giving the voiceless a voice. We turn to stories of the past to remind us of the power of the human spirit and to encourage us when we feel as though the obstacles in front of us may never be overcome. We also remember the past in order to ensure that we do not lose hard won rights.
The Bible is full of ancient stories that echo down to us and share eternal truths. Jesus tells us the parable of the persistent widow who won’t leave the judge alone until he gives her justice (Luke 18:1 – 8). We hear the cries of the Hebrews trapped in slavery in Egypt and learn how God sent Moses to set them free and lead them to the promised land. In addition to the hard work of humans, God’s power is at work. We trust our lives to God in prayer. We look to scripture for inspiration to see how God has answered prayer in the past. We look at the life of Jesus and see how he spent time with those who society set apart or excluded.
If we take our rights and our safety for granted, we are not honouring those who sacrificed much to ensure that we can say openly and legally “I do.” This week I invite you to give thanks for the LGBT activists and allies who work around the world to make the world a better place for everyone.