As Christians we hold a universal hope in our belief that Christ died for our sake; that in His death and resurrection we are forgiven of our sins and granted eternal life in Him.
As Gays, Lesbians, Transsexuals and Bisexuals our hope is put to the test as we are victimized and discriminated against every day. We suffer from unjust cutbacks in HIV and AIDS funding, discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, denied access to the institution of recognized marriage, and the ist goes on and on.
In Romans 12:12 we are called to, "rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulation and devote to prayer." In 12:14 we are urged to, "Bless those who persecute; bless and not curse."
It is this hope that we rejoice in that lets us devote through prayer, allowing us to stand in perseverance against our persecutors; for it is through hope that we have faith and through faith that we have hope.
Our hope for an end to the abuses heaped upon us cannot thrive in the closet but in our communities, schools, workplaces, churches and lives. We need to call ourselves to make speeches at rallies, stuff envelopes, make phone calls, forgive those who tresspass against us, march at vigils, give money and hold hands.
Someone once said, "Never take away someone's hope, it may be all they have."
As Gay, Lesbians, Transgendered and Bisexual Christians we are blessed with so many gifts, one of the most necessary of them being hope. Let us go out into the world celebrating our gifts, using our hope to persevere and show our faith.
"May the miracle of the birth of Christ our Lord inspire miracles within each of us to do His good works throughout the world, planting hope wherever we go so that we may later enjoy a harvest rich in diversity, love and acceptance for all God's creation."
Katherine Cecilia-Louise Henne is a Lay Pastoral Missionary with the Inclusive Methodist-Episcopal Church, a newly founded GLBT denomination based in Georgia. Kate is currently working on the All Saints Project, the formation of a network and Parish of GLBT people, in her hometown of Rutland, Vermont, where she is active in the community and is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church.