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The Holiness of Human Sexuality
The Holiness of Human Sexuality

The Holiness of Human Sexuality

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Holiness of Human Sexuality

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Week Twenty-Three Summary and Practice

Sunday, June 6—Friday, June 11, 2021

When two loving individuals, two bearers of God’s image, are unified in an erotic embrace, there is space for something holy. What was separate has come together. Two spirits, two bodies, two stories are drawn so close that they are something together that they cannot be alone. There is unity. —Nadia Bolz-Weber

God’s way of loving is the only licensed teacher of human sexuality. God’s passion created ours. If we are afraid of our sexuality, we are afraid of God.

The Song of Songs remains a testimony to mutuality in love, to the beauty of the human body, to the goodness of sexual desire, and the power of love: “Love is as strong as death,” the Song proclaims, “passion fierce as the grave.” —Stephanie Paulsell

Queer spirituality is truly embodied, and rooted in flesh-and-blood bodies, bodies that are surprising and show up as icons and words. It is also rooted in the body of Christ, in God-with-Us, in the continuous blurring of transcendence and immanence. —Mihee Kim-Kort

What Paul said about gender in Galatians 3:26–28 was revolutionary in that it confirmed that there was no patriarchy or misogyny in God’s new kingdom; it broke down the barriers between genders and between people of different genders and God. —Austen Hartke

The goal of our sexual longing is universal love, which is to say union with God, ourselves, and What Is. We came from union and all of our longing is a movement back toward union. The experiences of sexuality can help us glimpse and taste this unity and bring us to what I call the “Gate of the Temple,” but they do not by themselves carry us through the doors.


Prayer of Thanks for Our Bodies

When we remember to pray for our physical bodies, it is usually because something has gone wrong. We are reminded of our human frailty by an ache, an accident, or a diagnosis. But I hope this week has stirred within us a greater sense of gratitude for our bodies and for the desires that hum through them. This poem and prayer is a psalm of praise for the miraculous nature of our physical existence, in relationship with ourselves, others, and the cosmos.

Thank you for the body that loves me.

My own body:
it tingles me with pleasure
and sends me pain as a warning;
it takes in food and air
and transforms them to life;
it reaches orgasmic bliss
and reveals depths of peace.

Thank you for the body that loves me.

My lover’s body:
it surrounds me with safe arms,
and senses my needs and joys;
it allows me vulnerability,
and enables my ecstasy;
it teaches me how to love
and touches me with love.

Thank you for the body that loves me.

My spiritual community’s body:
it embodies your presence
by embracing mine;
it incarnates your hope
by empowering prophets;
it inspires me with stories
and enchants me with mystery.

Thank you for the body that loves me.

The cosmic and mystical body:
it calls me to communion
with creatures and creation;
it manifests your glory
and mine as its child;
it upholds my feet
and heals my body.

Thank you for the body that loves me.

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.

From Coming Out to God: Prayers for Lesbians and Gay Men, Their Families and Friends. ©1991 Chris R. Glaser. Used by permission of Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved.

Image credit: Jenna Keiper, Impressions (detail), 2020, photograph, Bellingham.
Image inspiration: In its rainbow of colors, human sexuality can be many things: delicate, powerful, mysterious, beautiful. How might we foster a healthy relationship with the holy gift of sexuality?
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