A city built on a hill cannot be hid

A city built on a hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14

My pastor came to me. “The BBC want to film your wedding. Would you be OK with that?”

It was to be part of a programme about same sex marriage. I said no, simply because I didn’t want my wedding day to be a curiosity, a circus.

Then Channel 4 came and asked the same.

Again, I said no.

Then BBC 2 came and said they were doing a programme on in-laws. They were going to interview three couples and their in-laws to see what challenges lay in their being married. They thought it would be good to have a same sex couple in the mix, to show that same sex couples had some of the same problems and challenges getting married as anybody else. I liked that idea so this time I said yes.

They came to the wedding and filmed. They also followed us around a local supermarket until the manager asked them to leave. They came to our home and filmed us there. I’d cleaned thoroughly, the place looked spotless. Until they put a 200w bulb into the ceiling and a spotlight on us. I was horrified to see every speck of muck and dust. Fortunately none of it showed up on camera.

It was a year after the wedding before the programme was aired. It was more of a social drama than a documentary. One couple had been abandoned by the groom’s father who hated the bride with unbridled venom. The other couple had similar in-law issues, and had been rejected by their families. I got on well with my in-laws, just a shame that my own parents were so ambivalent. At least they didn’t create a drama. All in all it was good TV, although not quite Jerry Springer.

A man in the local supermarket came up to me and thanked me for helping him understand his gay son.

A woman came up to me and thanked me for helping her to explain to her own family why she wanted to marry a woman.

My pastor preached on courage and human rights.

My grandmother was furious. She only agreed to see me again to say goodbye. She had no intention of seeing me again before she died, regardless of how long that took, and she lived for another 20 years. She had come to terms with my sexuality long ago, but she couldn’t come to terms with the world knowing that her grandson was gay – dirty washing in public and all that.

Being a Light for the World, or a City on a Hill, you can’t hide.

I’m not sure if Jesus was issuing an invitation, or a warning. 

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14

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