Given By Rev. Madison Shockley October 13, 2019

Today is Coming Out Sunday. Rev. Shockley shows us a video on a pre-Christian society that embraces non-binary individuals. There were many cultures before Christianity began. One of these is the Hawaiian culture. Non-binary individuals are Mahu. Hawaiians lived in harmony and the Mahu were valued members of society.  This concept of Mahu was common throughout Polynesia for thousands of years. When missionaries came to these lands, the Mahu were banned. For our role in this part of  history, the United Church of Christ issued an apology to the indigenous Hawaiian people on January 17, 1993. Our reading from Paul speaks about gender.  Gender distinctions are no longer relevant to who we are. Only our faith matters. Jesus welcomes all people. You don’t have to change who you are to be a follower of Jesus. You don’t need surgery to be Christian. While Paul was speaking about circumcision, we can relate this to the LGBT community. Conformity or rule-keeping is like slavery. This is the opposite of faith. Faith is trust. Faith is love. Laws and rules will never make you righteous. The only thing that matter is being the best you that you can be which allows you to be the best Christian. God loves you for who you are.