This past Sunday I went to City of Refuge in San Francisco. The whole service was amazing, from the music to the sermons to the people. (If you decide to go check it out, I highly recommend bringing water and snack because the service can run 2+ hours! I’m really glad I had some along.) When you walk into the room, you get hit with a wall of love, spirit, and beautiful music that is just amazing to behold.
For me, being the magick worker that I am, the feeling in that room was simply beautiful organized chaos. So much love and care in one place, but the interesting thing for me wasn’t that in particular (although, it was awesome), it was how Jesus was present.
Yes, I said Jesus.
See, Jesus and I have talked, and we’re cool with each other. We have an understanding. I’m not His, but I respect Him and His followers (and I know which are truly His and which aren’t). But here’s the interesting thing: in most churches I go to there’s one big egregore (aka denominational spirit) of Jesus. He sort of appears ten feet tall and shining and loving for the most part. It’s not a bad image for Him, really, considering some of the churches I’ve been in.
So, here I am, sitting in City of Refuge, waiting for the ten foot tall Jesus. And I’m waiting. Other visions happen, and I’m still looking for Him to show up. After a bit, I kind of give up because, well, maybe He’ll show up later in the service. Maybe during communion or something.
But at one point I felt…something different. The room felt much more crowded than the actual number of people who were there. I remember having my eyes closed at one point, then opening them and realizing that there wasn’t just One Big Jesus, there were 10,000 different versions of Jesus. It was all of the people’s visions of Jesus, all acting of their own accord, but also acting as one voice of love. It even became one universal All after a time, one large spirit of love, compassion, and acceptance.
Thinking about it now, this is what radical inclusion is: accepting that everyone’s version of the divine can act as one. That everyone can work together for the goal of peace, love, and justice. That you don’t need to deny one’s personhood (identity, orientation, etc) in order to feel safe enough to worship.
Maybe it sounds too much of a naive vision to be true, but I saw it at City of Refuge. It’s not impossible.