OWL Scripture Reflection – December 2022

Hold Together
By Rev. Amy Johnson
Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice

“Before anything was created, Christ existed
And all things hold together in Christ.”

~Colossians 1:17 The Inclusive Bible

Recently, I invited some youth from our church over to hang out and bake Christmas cookies. As often happens, the afternoon was filled with lots of laughter and short moments of deep and intense conversation.

At one point, I asked them each to reflect on something in the sermon that day: “Who do you find it hard to believe Jesus loves?”

The heart-wrenching, brutally honest answer of one trans youth new to our church was, “Honestly, I think it’s me sometimes.”

I made eye contact and said, “Do you mean because of messages other people have given you that you’ve internalized?”

He said, “Yes.”

“That can be really hard,” I said. “Those messages go deep, even when you start to experience a supportive faith community like ours.”

He nodded.

Beloved, creating sacred space to have these conversations is so important. It is life-giving and life-saving, living water in a land of parched teenagers, whose life force is wired to bloom, like a flower pushing up through a crack in the concrete of oppression, shame, and denial of their existence. They are often strong and resilient–and they need our help to carefully tend their souls and transplant them into gardens where they can grow and thrive. They need to know the love of the God who created them in Their image, and the love of Christ Jesus is there for them—always has been, always will be.

Messages that say anything else pollute the water we all drink and air we all breathe.

Thank you, for the ministry you tend with Our Whole Lives and Sexuality and Our Faith. Thank you for showing our youth how all things are held together in Christ.