Acts 15:5-13 Reading for June 6th, 2021
The trouble with following the Revised Common Lectionary is that sometimes, great events get left out! There’s nothing special for Mother’s or Father’s day, and nothing for Pride Sunday! I’m publishing this post only a few days before Pride Sunday, but hopefully you will still have time to track down a copy of this great book. I got mine at an Indigo bookstore, and I would guess most bookstores have a copy. Check your library too!
This affirming passage from Acts gives me goosebumps every time I read it. Much like earlier passages from Acts, like the story of Peter’s vision and Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, the message is clear: the Gospel is for everyone. Salvation is for everyone. There is nothing about your appearance, your past, your behaviour, your thoughts, your nationality, or your family background that you can hide from God, and still God welcomes you into the family.
In fact, you are saved even if you don’t live up to religious rules! Some people insisted that all the men of Judea had to be circumcised if they wanted to be saved, but Peter and Barnabas “were up on their feet in fierce protest” (Acts 15:1-2) defending that salvation is for everyone, no matter what you (or your genitals) look like.
What I love most about It Feels Good to be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity, is its simplicity. We sometimes overthink concepts like gender identity or sexual orientation and decide they are too complicated to explain to children, but they really aren’t. It boils down to what the title says: it feels good to be yourself.
Teresa Thorn’s book explains that doctors and parents make an educated guess about each baby’s gender identity, but as that baby grows up and can communicate, they might tell the world that they got it wrong… and that’s ok! The book also reassures readers (kids AND parents) that there are too many ways to be a boy or a girl or non-binary to fit in a book. God’s world is full of glorious diversity, because that’s the way God made it!
Questions to ask before you read:
- Are you a boy or a girl or something else?
- How do you know?
- Can you hide anything about yourself from God?
Questions to ask after you read:
- Is there only one way to dress/act if you are a girl?
- Is there only one way to dress/act if you are a boy?
- Does God love girls more than boys?
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Thorn, Theresa. It Feels Good To Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity. Henry Holt and Co., 2019.