OWL Scripture Reflection – March 2024

By Rev. Amy Johnson
UCC Minster for Sexuality Education & Justice

4 Their unbelieving minds have been blinded by the god of the present age, so that they do not see the splendor of the Gospel showing forth the glory of Christ, the image of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:4

I had cause recently to say, “Yes, I do think Jesus would teach Our Whole Lives. OWL is about dismantling shame and stigma about our bodies and relationships, and Jesus was all about that.”

From speaking to a woman at the well and charging her with spreading the news, to having a woman wipe oil from his feet, to telling those who had no sin to throw the first stone, Jesus constantly challenged the views and norms of the day. Those norms are created by humans, and Jesus brings us back, over and over, to looking for the image of God—in each other, and in what we are doing.

The gods of the present age—the small “g” gods—of patriarchy, and white supremacy, and misogyny—those gods are not the gods we are called to follow or worship. It can be messy and scary when we follow God’s message of love and inclusion in a world that is saying we should be afraid of diversity, and exclude anyone who might make us feel uncomfortable. Yet, the splendor of the Gospel and the Glory of Christ is that we can find transformation, community-building, and spectacular connection when we do the work of dismantling shame and stigma in our own communities.

Our Whole Lives is about understanding our bodies, our relationships, our families, and our communities in expansive and loving ways. When we do this, we experience the splendor of the Gospel. We see the Glory of Christ. We embody image of God. May it be so.