Queer Jesus

Jesus said “There were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
                           —Luke 4.27-30

How dare he point God’s grace toward the outsider.
How dare he uncenter us, the right, the normal.
Oh, we want so badly for Jesus to be like us.
To praise our kind, to fit in, and bless our fitting in.
But he will not. He will stand outside our lines,
athwart our expectations, the sickness of our normal.
He will not fit, and make unfit our fitting in.
He will be the one we judge and label,
and all who are not our kind, and try to throw away.

But we can’t be free of him.
Even as he lives on the edge of us
he passes through the center of us.
This queer savior, this noncompliant master,
this misfit, is the uncaged Word made flesh,
whose ways are not ours.
Beneath our fragile costumes of class and sect,
in our honest lives undressed, ill-fitting and not right,
unpacked and unconformable,
there, there, is our place in him, and our salvation.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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