Queer Scripture Reflections – Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson

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Image Description: photo of the book of Genesis and the ELM logo with the title: Queer Scripture Reflections.
John 12:4-6 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
 
John 13:29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 
 
Obscure and not often quoted scriptures, but ones that grip me when combing the scriptures for evidence of Jesus’ views and experiences of what it meant to be a family as an adult, since earlier in this blog series we explored the beautiful queerness of Jesus’ childhood multi-parent family. 
 
We know that Jesus asked 12 guys to leave behind their families to cleave to him for life using phrases very similar to traditional marriage vows. We know this group lived, ate, traveled, prayed, napped, and attended parties and weddings together. We know Jesus turned to them in fear and grief as his support network. We know they protected each other and were willing to fight for each other and worried about each other. They fought and forgave. They worked extensively at healthy and clear communication. Then there’s these Bible verses.
 
One of this created chosen family is referenced as keeping the common purse for Jesus and all the Disciples, not once, but twice. Not only does this unit of at least mostly same-gendered partners (I only trust pronoun translation so far after 2,000 years but that’s another blog) care for each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually, they are also united financially in a very practical and trusting way.
 
There is no mention in the texts about the Disciples if they were having sex. Nothing says they weren’t, as they traveled together and comforted each other. It’s almost as if intimate partnership could be aromantic, asexual OR romantic or sexual, and to name that as a primary definition of chosen family is of secondary importance. 
 
In short; the Disciples, queer. Beautifully, lovingly, richly, connected. The early church’s first and the New Testament’s most thoroughly documented and central family unit. There is much we can learn from their family/community of care.
 
 

The Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson (she/her/hers) is Assistant to the Bishop in Charge of Justice Ministries for Lower Susquehanna Synod and Associate Pastor of Faith Formation and Outreach for Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. CarlaChristopher.Com and @RevCarlaChristopher on Facebook or @Rev.CarlaChristopher on Instagram.

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