There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
My 12-year-old grandson took me aside to tell me that he was a “they.”
Their real question had nothing to do with this announcement. “Do you think I should tell them (another they in sixth grade whom he intended to ask for a date) or not, Bube?” My grandchildren call me Bube. No, I am not Jewish, but my husband is and thus I got the best name for Grandma ever.
I do not understand why St. Paul put Jews and Greeks into a pile of people, all one in Christ Jesus. Why couldn’t they be themselves?
Anyway, back to the important question my grandchild had for me. I said, “No. Do not tell them.” “Why not?” “Because if you do tell them, you might lose a friend. They might not be interested in you.”
Fast forward. “You were right. I didn’t tell them. They told me something though. They were in love with my best friend. If I had told them, then I would have lost two friends. Now they’ll never know; I get to keep them both as friends.”
I (she/her/hers) am intrigued by these stories. I hate a false binary as much as anyone. But what happens when we listen to St. Paul, turn all Jews and Gentiles into a mushy vanilla? Or we only have two genders, male and female? Isn’t the meaning of being one something larger than even the false binaries? Aren’t we in for a great time?
I think so.
Bust us loose, O God, from small divisions. Bring us home to unity in you and all the ones we call them. Amen.