Pride celebrations usually take place during the month of June; it was in June of 1969 that the Stonewall Riot happened in response to a police raid on a gay bar in New York City. The historical roots of Pride celebrations are connected with government-sanctioned violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. In case you wonder if such government-sanctioned violence still exists, all you have to do is look at the laws created in the last year by state legislatures in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and almost a dozen other states.
Every Pride observance is a mixture of celebrating people in all their glorious uniqueness, and rebelling against the political structures that continue to harm members of our family, our community, our neighborhood. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, for those of us who follow the One who taught us that every person is a Beloved Child of God, made in God’s own image, it is crucial that we hold Pride celebrations – in our homes, in our worship centers, in our communities. When there are so many voices that would promote violence against transgender persons, we who worship the God of Peace must lift our voices in protest. When there are so many politicians who would blame Drag Performers for the ills of our nation, we who worship the God of Pentecostal diversity must be intentional about embracing and celebrating every person’s unique expression of their identity.
This coming Sunday we will “Worship with Pride,” not because it is trendy or woke, but because God calls us to welcome all of God’s Beloved Children into our family of faith. We will Worship with Pride because we are Christians and having Pride in each other as siblings in Christ is what we are called to do.