God’s spirit speaks to us through sermons, but the message we receive is not always the message the preacher intends.
On Sunday, I heard a grace-filled message, acknowledging among other things the brokenness and beauty of all people. This resonated deeply with me, as I was exhausted from a week of mission work and functioning with limited faculties. It also helped me align the various limitations in my body with the particular ways God has gifted me to serve. However, this was not the message Minister Sydney was proclaiming from the pulpit, particularly in light of Disability Awareness, in her sermon entitled “The Body is Not an Apology.” So as not to misrepresent her, here, in her own words, is the message she was hoping to convey:
*if you are disabled in any way, visible or invisible you are you are not broken, you already whole and do not need to be fixed. You are made in the image of God. This is evidenced by Jesus willingly walking to the cross, being wounded and returning bearing the scars. In a small way, Jesus was disabled as well.
*eventually we will all experience some form of disability. How will you want to be treated when you can’t move as fast or see as well?
*When we deny someone his or her basic dignity we deny Christ himself.
*There is no need for inclusion if the playing ground is even.
I’m grateful to Sydney for getting me to think more deeply about the good news of the gospel as it affirms people of all abilities.
God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. – Desmond Tutu