On this Canada Day, my wife and I begin our drive across this great land. Each time I make the trip from the east to the west, I am struck by the vastness of this land we call home. This year I take with me the deep impressions left upon my heart by our Synod’s Convention where we explored the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s work to come to terms with our nation’s shameful history. I know that I shall travel this land with hope-filled eyes, trusting that the work we have begun will open us to the work of reconciliation with our First Nations sisters and brothers. As we celebrate this land, let us remember those whose welcome of our ancestors came at such great cost. Let us find ways to walk together into our future open to the possibilities of reconciliation. Happy Canada Day EVERYONE!
As Pride Week celebrations continue and I search for words to help us express our celebrations of Canada Day during today’s worship service, I came across this prayer written by Kittredge Cherry and Patrick Cheng.
Rainbow Christ, you embody all the colors of the world. Rainbows serve as bridges between different realms: Heaven and Earth, east and west, queer and non-queer. Inspire us to remember the values expressed in the rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
Red is for life, the root of spirit. Living and Self-Loving Christ, you are our Root. Free us from shame, and grant us the grace of healthy pride so we can follow our own inner light. With the red stripe in the rainbow, we give thanks that God created us just the way we are.
Orange is for sexuality, the fire of spirit. Erotic Christ, you are our Fire, the Word made flesh. Free us from exploitation, and grant us the grace of mutual relationships. With the orange stripe in the rainbow, kindle a fire of passion in us.
Yellow is for self-esteem, the core of spirit. Out Christ, you are our Core. Free us from closets of secrecy, and give us the guts and grace to come out. With the yellow stripe in the rainbow, build our confidence.
Green is for love, the heart of spirit. Transgressive Outlaw Christ, you are our Heart, breaking rules out of love. In a world obsessed with purity, you touch the sick and eat with outcasts. Free us from conformity, and grant us the grace of deviance. With the green stripe in the rainbow, fill our hearts with untamed compassion for all beings.
Blue is for self-expression, the voice of spirit. Liberator Christ, you are our Voice, speaking out against all forms of oppression. Free us from apathy, and grant us the grace of activism. With the blue stripe in the rainbow, motivate us to call for justice.
Violet is for vision, the wisdom of spirit. Interconnected Christ, you are our Wisdom, creating and sustaining the universe. Free us from isolation, and grant us the grace of interdependence. With the violet stripe in the rainbow, connect us with others and with the whole creation.
Rainbow colours come together to make one light, the crown of universal consciousness. Hybrid and All-Encompassing Christ, you are our Crown, both human and divine. Free us from rigid categories, and grant us the grace of interwoven identities. With the rainbow, lead us beyond black-and-white thinking to experience the whole spectrum of life.
Rainbow Christ, you light up the world. You make rainbows as a promise to support all life on Earth. In the rainbow space we can see all the hidden connections between sexualities, genders, and races. Like the rainbow, may we embody all the colours of the world! Amen.
Below is a version of a favourite hymn “For All the Children” composed by David Lohman and sung by a gathering of Catholics in Minnesota last summer. Since then our neighbours to the south have made some good progress toward equality. We here in Canada can take pride in our nation’s equal marriage laws, but more work needs to be done to accomplish full equality.