The significance of those two events coinciding on this day is not lost on me. And just as big was the President saying, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law... For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.” He further went on to make the link between various civil rights struggles for women, African-Americans, and the LGBT community by bringing up Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall.
I got teary-eyed hearing this. For the first time, a President of the United States had connected the dots that I, and so many other gay people, have been connecting together for years, only to be growled at for daring to equate our struggle for equality with that of our black brothers and sisters. Now it was our black brother, the ally-in-chief, making our case for us. And, for once, this wasn't just some Democratic politician saying all the right things to get us to open our pocketbooks, so we could be ignored and left behind... again. President Obama has shown he means it. He has repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell; his Justice Department has refused to advocate for the Defense of Marriage Act. And his own significant move came last year when he told Robin Roberts in a sit down interview that he had "evolved" on the marriage issue and he didn't have a problem with people of the same gender tying the knot. That statement rippled out through the African-American community, and it opened the door for blacks who have quietly supported LGBT rights to step up and become more vocal... especially from the pulpit.
So, what in the world does any of this have to do with miracles? Because, much like the moment in yesterday's gospel, when Jesus performs the first miracle at the wedding in Cana by turning nasty undrinkable water for purification rites into a never-ending flow of the best wine ever, I am seeing a similar moment of "Wow!" in the President's remarks with regards to the LGBT community. Jesus' miracle, done not for show but as a teaching moment about God, clearly the blew the minds of those present to witness what he did.
When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Ca'na of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.--John 2:9-11
Believing is the first step in having faith. Having faith is then the motivator for engaging the world in the ongoing effort to bend that long moral arc of the universe toward justice.
At our service yesterday, we had a guest preacher, Rabbi Jack Romberg of Temple Israel, who noted that the miracles that occur in Scripture don't happen without the willingness of human beings to act on our faith. The advancements that LGBT community, and any other minority group, has seen in history has not come by us waiting and praying for a change to occur and waiting for God to do "God's thing." It has happened because we have been actively working toward change. And a "Wow!" has arrived in the words of the President in his second inaugural address.
This "Wow!" that has the potential to continuously "Wow!" for the months and years to come. May it be so.