This week—in the pause between Thanksgiving and the many December holidays—I thought we could take a look back at the recent sermon series on love. If you missed one, now’s your chance to catch up! Or maybe there’s a message that you need to hear again. Or maybe you want to browse the thoughtful comments of our community (I’ve highlighted a few here, but there’s so many more on the actual sermon pages). However you interact with these reflections I hope they nourish your heart and help you do the hard work of loving the world better.
Please know that I love you. I wish you ease and peace this season.
PART 1 | The Middle Ground Between Love & Contempt
Deborah (the middle ground between love & contempt)
I have listened three times now to this challenging message. It is such hard work to do the work of love – and yes impartiality even. Your assignment to pay attention to my own daily reactions is such a good beginning place. Thank you. <3
Hi Summer, what a great sermon! A mantra that I use in my practice is “May I live each moment in loving kindness, remembering that we are all one.” It helps me to remember to try to reach out. Even if it’s just starting a conversation, making small talk on the train to work. Getting out of my own introverted head and being open to others’ feelings and words is part of my daily practice.
I recently moved to an urban area. I’ve lived and worked most of my life in white, middle-class suburbs; now I mix daily with a diverse population, which I’m enjoying, but In the city, you see it all, and every day — occasional violence spilling into the street, desperate people begging for money, the mentally ill. So far, I can’t look them in the eye. That feels like a moral failing somehow, like I’m not acknowledging their humanity. I keep trying.
Thank you, Summer. Thank you again this morning! This sermon really struck me. I’m a pelvic physio (women who bleed) and worked in PNG (with lepers). I hear/heard those stories of exclusion. I hear from elder women/widows at their physio appointment that they miss touch, miss it deeply! I also notice, in myself, a recalcitrant avoidance of a person (non-specific, but often loud extroverted people) at times…..thank you for heightening my awareness.
This was very meaningful to me, in the middle of a week when I’ve been particularly down on myself. That sentence your friend offered, “You can’t speak to my friend that way” cut straight to my heart. I’ve felt the same way about other friends who speak so badly about themselves… but had never redirected that statement toward my own shadow voice.
These sermons are a balm and a blessing. Thank you so much, dear one.
I am so grateful for and blessed by the wisdom and curious hearts of this community. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. You inspire me to do the hard work of learning to love better. Thank you.