This I believe- we all have one special thing to share with the world –our love for one another. I’d heard from someone a long time ago that every minister preaches basically the same sermon every Sunday. As a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) I positively bristle when I hear the word ‘preach’ tossed around, as in “Don’t preach at me!” I believe that when those words are uttered the person has already decided that no matter what you say, read, quote or sing, they have already made up their mind and don’t need or want to hear your view.
Up until a few months ago, I thought my sermon to renew, reuse and recycle in the church I serve is that we are called to love one another despite our flaws and imperfections. I also believe now it is to encourage people to explain what love is not and practice what they believe love is and can be.
We English speaking individuals are so limited in our use of words even though the dictionary’s gets fatter with each publication. “I love this CD. I love your sweater”, and so on. That is not love. That is admiration. We are forced into shades of meaning and misunderstanding when we say the word love, especially when we don’t mean it. “I love your mother’s cranberry- rhubarb- dried oregano pie.”
Believe me when I say that unless we unpack and understand what we each mean when we say love, then future is grim and the world will end with a whimper. Love is more that typical romance or affection or even lust. It is action and hard work and a responsibility each of us must take seriously if the quality of life wherever we live is to improve. Can you love your self? Can you love others? I believe we can. Practice it. Learn it. Believe it. Then, share it. Our love for one another can prevent the fear that inspires bullies. Love can withstand the hate that inspires –isms and stop the rage that creates abuse. Love one another and not only with there be love that is honest and brimming with peace, but joy and compassion as well.
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