you are loved.
You are beloved.
God chooses you.
Your status as a beloved child of God
does not depend on how you feel about yourself.
It doesn’t depend on what people think of you.
It doesn’t rely on your achievements,
your value to the economy,
or the things you can and can’t do.
It doesn’t relate to how accepted you are by others,
whether that be by those who raised you,
or strangers you meet as you journey.
It doesn’t even matter the things you regret,
or the times you’ve fallen short of being your best.
Your status as beloved cannot be taken away.
Even when your life doesn’t look like the ‘norm’.
What even is the norm?
A two-hetero-adult, two-child family?
For a start, Jesus had two daddies.
Mary didn’t even have hetero-sex.
Then there’s Jonathan,
who loved gorgeous David so much
that he betrayed his father (the King of Israel)
saving David’s life.
And of course, there’s beautiful Ruth,
she left her culture, her family,
disregarded the uncritically-accepted need for men,
and remained with Naomi,
whom she loved deeply.
flamboyant camp Joseph,
mincing with his glorious coat,
loved by his gentle-hearted dad, shunned by his closed-minded brothers,
He found a whole new life in the cosmopolitan city.
What about grown-up Jesus’ mother Mary,
the chosen one, favoured by God,
finding Jesus in later life casually asking,
Who is my mother?
as he adopts those around him as his chosen family.
Countless folk, loved by God,
but definitely not living the norm:
no simple life, no glimpse of stability –
just messiness and brokenness.
Guess there’s nowt so queer as folk.
your life may be ragingly different,
it might even resemble a shambled mess.
Christmas might be painfully hard,
a chain of broken memories,
where you grasp at cosy commitments
to make something of the torturous season.
But you’re amongst delectably divine company,
the company of people gone before
and your sainted siblings here –
far from any painted-perfect socially-constructed norm:
the norm that never existed,
but suits a clichéd Christmas card or film.
But know this:
You are beloved –
not for what you do or don’t do.
For it’s called be loved, not do loved.
You are beloved.
Here in this thin place,
among your beloved queer siblings,
in the presence of the Holy Christ-Child
you are dearly loved,
© Gary Hopkins 2022
Originally written for Inclusive Gathering Birmingham’s Nine Queer Lessons and Carols