Advent’s liturgical readings from the prophet Isaiah are among the most beautiful, poetic, and hopeful texts of the Bible. They speak of expectation, longing, liberation, and God’s unfailing love and solidarity with humanity.
A few weeks ago, asked its readers to write short reflections on selected Isaiah readings from the perspective of LGBTQ people and allies. We will print selections from these reflections on each of the four Advent Sundays and Christmas Eve. You can find the previous reflections here, here, here, and here.
Thank you to all who submitted reflections!
Below are the selections for Christmas Eve. They are preceded by the Scripture citation upon which the reflection is based.
Isaiah 35: 3-5
Strengthen hands that are feeble, make firm knees that are weak,
Say to the fearful of heart: Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God who comes with vindication;
With divine recompense God comes to save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall see, and the ears of the deaf be opened.
Submitted by: Ariel Vapor Location: Costa Mesa, California
My emotional default
is depression when I do not
walk in The Light.
Feeble are my knees, a man who isn’t quite
Adult nor child at age 54
to begin recovery from drugs
AIDS at age 40 was
symptomatic of deeper sins
Not so much carnal as it was
ego: I played God within
Yet still, my soul desires to trod
Let naysayer say, “disordered,
not one of God’s”
Keep sight of Light,
My soul fear not—
Our God is near:
prepare for flight!
Yes, people of Zion, dwelling in Jerusalem, you shall no longer weep;
God will be most gracious to you when you cry out;
As soon as God hears he will answer you.
God will give you bread in adversity and water in affliction.
No longer will your Teacher hide, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
And your ears shall hear a word behind you:
“This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or the left.
Submitted by: Katherine Pezo Location: United States
We LGBT people are still waiting and it is a wait that can be painful and frustrating, but I’m sure that God is listening, to our prayers, to our desires, to our wishes, to our cries. He is not an absent or scornful God: such is against his very being, but rather He is a God among and within us. A God with His hand in ours who leads us down in the path of struggle, as our friend and companion who suffers with us.
As someone who desires to work, pray, and advocate for LGBT people in the Church it is clear to me that the way He is pointing to, to me and for others who are or wish to be doing the same, is to continue to do this and cultivate this desire. We must continue to speak out, to learn, to pray, to do what little we can do bring justice and God’s love to LGBT people and the Church as a whole as prophetic voices. Even in those of us not called to do so, to simply exist as an LGBT person is to follow in God’s way, his warm hand in ours.
For some it might be far easier to turn aside, to give in to despair, to think that things will never get better or change, but God points the way forward, being one with our suffering and our struggles in His loving kindness. He will give us strength and will help us from turning to the right or the left but will lead us forward to the path of real mercy, love and justice for LGBT people.
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, December 24, 2019