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I Love You…
As I prepared my heart and mind to engage the sermon on Sunday evening, there were a thousand thoughts that flooded my mind on the topic of love. Things like love is perhaps among the most prolific ideas and ideals at work in music, art, literature and life itself; yet it is still a worthy conversation unto death.
We are born, live and at the threshold of death and dying, knowing that the very depth of our being is cultivated and curated from seeds of forgiveness and gratitude and they are not just the semblance of love as an emotion, but more so love as a journey. The words; “I love you” juxtaposed to the reality that we are going to die beckoned to us from the Eucharistic invitatory language of the sacred table do not simply remind us not of the story of Jesus, but of the story that is now ours. The reach of this thought reminds us to not only live wholeheartedly, but love from the same fullness thereof. I was reminded that love and death are not mutually exclusive, but inextricable connected in the messiness of life as there are no conversations about death without love nor conversations of love without death.
I could hear in the backdrop of my heart the mystery of love in songs and all the social contexts of the age and still I listened for more to emerge and then entered trust, vulnerability accompanied by shame and for me personally resistance. What was most poignant in the time since, is how the weight of just three words; “I love you” has lingered with me. I recalled an episode from my own life, where at the age of 23 I said with reckless abandon those three words to my mother for the very first time. In that moment, I learned the truth of a statement that Caitlin share on Sunday evening: “Trust is made up of 1,000 tiny things”. It takes trust to love and vulnerability to love another fearlessly and rigorously. I was reminded that love has the power to reach out and change everything; even me. The weight, the mystery, the fear and the pain associated with even thinking about dying is lifted, demystified, challenged and changed by love. In other words, “Love is crucial to saying goodbye”.
Overcoming shame, becoming more vulnerable are akin to a love that allows us to be seen, heard, valued, known in our living and in our dying. I believe that in all things the love we seek, the love we know and the love we bestow begins within as I can only love each of you as much I love the deepest parts of me. Love always starts with me and with that, know this as Truth; “I Love you”.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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