As I spoke giddily to friends who welcomed home the weary travellers from Edinburgh. As I sat with Kelvin so that we could try to unpack for those who had not been there all the events and accomplishments of the last three days. As my voice caught at the joyful lump in my throat when I sang the Alleluias.
As all these things happened, a different story was unfolding across the Atlantic.
50 people are confirmed dead after a mass shooting in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, with another 53 people injured. It has been the deadliest terrorist attack to take place on American soil since September 11th.
I think you might think that because we’re talking about marriage, everything else is okay now. But the truth is that in 2016 we still live in a world where lesbian, gay, and bisexual people can legally be imprisoned or executed, where people of non-cis and non-binary gender identities are under increasing, not decreasing, attacks, and where LGBT people out for the evening in a place that was meant to be safe for them can be shot dead. For as long as these things continue to be true, the kingdom of God has not yet arrived on Earth. The truth is, on days like this, it feels like marriage is the easy part.
We pray for Orlando,
and for every place on Earth it that has been tainted by violence.
We pray for all your children, made in your glorious image,
who face discrimination, suffering, criminalisation, and death because of their sexualities and gender identities.
Give rest to the weary,
comfort to the fearful,
strength to those who mourn,
and courage to those in authority.
Loving God, we look to you in our confusion
and we ask you for the endurance to meet hate with love, and violence with peace,
and for the perfect rage and perfect strength to continue our work,
seeking justice and equality for all,
and completing our task to build your kingdom of heaven on Earth.