The Visitation: Family Stories and Traditions
Advent: Year C, Week 4
- Jesus defined family as more than a biological reality (Matthew 12:50). As an LGBT person or ally, who is family to you and how has your family – traditional or chosen – shaped you to be a conduit of God’s love and holiness? What family stories or traditions do you bring that add color and texture to LGBT history, spirituality and pride?
- Elizabeth and Zechariah are seniors recruited for a mission. They model intergenerational joy and sing songs of praise to the God who gives life (Luke 1:67-79). How do you envision yourself growing old? What are some of the joys and challenges you anticipate as an LGBT senior? Like Elizabeth and Zechariah, would you be open to extraordinary changes late in your life?
- Elizabeth’s comment to Mary — “How can this be that the mother of the Messiah should come to me?”– suggests delight, awe, surprise and gratitude. Has the Mother of God invited you into her holy family? If so, what feelings did it inspire in you? Mary journeyed with Jesus to the foot of the cross. How has she stood with you through your trials as an LGBT person or ally?
- Loneliness and social isolation are realities as we age. Older people who are LGBT are more likely to be single or live alone and not have children to care for them. The stories of the Annunciation and Visitation imply that we may be led to people, places and situations that we may never imagine. How can you contribute to a real-life social network to support and care for LGBT elders and encourage a mutual exchange of tenderness?
- Is Advent and Christmas, with its emphasis on family and relationships, a happy or anxious time for you? Given your own unique gifts, story and tradition, how can you be an invaluable ministerial resource to those with unique emotional needs at this time of the year?
The short film below captures the perspective of eleven LGBT seniors in Los Angeles who came of age during a time when imprisonment, daily discrimination, physical violence and abuse were commonplace. Exemplifying elegant survival, these individuals helped make the community we have today possible.
From the “Daughters of Bilitis” and “Mattachine Society” to the marches led by Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, the history of the LGBT movement has often been forgotten, overlooked or ignored. This film is an attempt to give voice to and shine the light on the stories and lives of these remarkable individuals who are our communal ancestors.