In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul writes: "I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope." Thus is the call of every Christian person, to be humble, gentle, patient; to accept each other with love and to be in unity. In our faith tradition it is the Spirit of God the one that binds us to God, to each other, and to the whole of Creation.
Moreover, in the Christian tradition the Spirit of God is understood as an integral part of the mystery of the Trinity. Without entering into a theological debate about this, it would be important to note that the Christian faith teaches that the mystery of the Trinity is an explanation on the nature of God. In this way, the Creating God (Father/Mother/Parent), the God who becomes human (Logos, Word, Wisdom) and the God Spirit (Sustainer/Guide) relate to each other as equals. Each person of the Trinity is loved by the other and they each belong to each other without ever losing their individuality. It is a complicated concept, but the main idea is this: the Trinity is the way in which God relates to God-self.
In 2010 a young woman by the name Brittany McMillan felt moved by the loss of so many young people who took their own lives. These youth were victims of bullying; some where gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) while others where heterosexual youth who were perceived as LGBT. Due to the unbearable pain that bullying caused them, these youth saw no other option for their lives. These were tragic and heartbreaking news, which moved Brittany to take action. Her humble, gentle and loving actions gave way to what we commemorate today as "Spirit Day."
Spirit Day seeks to acknowledge the pain that all of us in the LGBT community and our allies have felt with the loss of so many young lives due to bullying. Millions of people have responded to Brittany's call to wear purple in honor of the victims of bullying in our nation and around the world.
For those of us who do theology from the margins of our queerness, the actions of this brave young woman can only be described as the incarnation of the Spirit of God. Spirit Day is for us a reminder that God -- the God who was made flesh and walked among God's own people -- is still being incarnated among us, especially among those who have suffered persecution and violence. All of us who profess the Christian faith will do good in responding to the call of the Spirit through Brittany and to wear purple on Friday (Oct. 19) in honor of the many victims of bullying and violence.
Tomorrow, God calls us to use our actions to bring about the presence of God among us. I believe that God is calling us to live out a similar relationship as that of the Trinity: a relationship of respect, of equality and of solidarity. To wear purple this coming Friday will remind us that we have a responsibility to never forget those whose lives have been lost; it will remind us that we have a responsibility to stand up against bullying in whichever form it presents. Wearing purple this Friday will identify us as part of a community "worthy of the call you received from God," as the Apostle wrote. Wearing purple this Friday will identify us as a community that lives in humility, in gentleness, in patience and in love; a community where the Spirit of God is always manifested.
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more