What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Grace and Peace to you

My sisters and brothers in Christ

When all else fails,

When the flimsy layers of this world falls

When human weakness crumbles

There you will find Creator’s Love

Freeing

Challenging

Filling US

A part of US

Just as Jesus is a part of US

Amen.

 Love,

Even in the midst of all of a self-centered world

Seems to be present everywhere

And that is Good News

But love is more than the warm and fuzzy feeling

That is the usual comfy blanket

Hearing 1 Corinthians 13

Most often at celebrations of weddings

“Love is patient,

Love is kind”

But when we are amiss

And have forgotten

And stand divided

Divisive

In our friendships

In our relationships

In our marriages

And long term commitments

This is when this Scripture should be proclaimed

We forget about this Letter to the Corinthians

That Paul wrote to a community in distress

Easily divorcing oneself from the community

I appeal to you brothers and sisters,

That you all agree with one another,

That there be no divisions among you”

When we can not stand one another’s presence

When we disagree in committee meetings

Sit away from one another in the pews,

As if there is a wall present

Refusing to pass the peace

Because we have deemed that person to not be deserving

Of Agape

Or not sharing the abundancy from the Creator

Because we have deemed them to be unlovable

This,

This is the time

We should be running to God’s Word

Because it is only God’s Love

That overshadows

Any disagreement, any offense, any unhappiness

It is display of love

In tough times

That plows through all the superficial

Exposing the roots

Getting the work of what God calls God’s children to

In the end,

Real Love,

The love that is never fearful of getting dirty

The Love that exudes God’s Grace

Reminds us of God’s Promises

That God Loves us Unconditionally

Especially when we act our worst,

When we are twisted into ugliness

When we sin

(pause)

Love is more than sappiness

And sentimentality

Love is,

Always

Costly

Love means giving of oneself

Being vulnerable

Forgiving

Open

Truthful

(pause)

Jesus,

In our Gospel lesson

Was truthful

Because of the empowerment

The liberation through

The Holy Spirit

When we are consumed by the Holy Spirit

Radical things are birthed!

Radical in that Jesus proclaimed to those gathered,

That the Good News He taught and preached

Was not just for them.

Do we wonder what it had to be

In the midst of that crowd in Nazareth

When Jesus, son of Joseph

A carpenter

Seemingly has made it big!

The same way as many of our faith communities swell

When a child of their own returns

From the Holy Land

Or a year in YAGM

Or years in Seminary,

How people beam and claim that person,

As their own

And yet, would we react

As these ancient people did hearing Jesus

Pride and smugness faltering

When Jesus proclaimed Radical Gospel

That the love of God was not just for them

The so called chosen people

But that God’s Love was for the Gentiles

That God’s Love is not just for followers of Christ

But for our Muslim sisters and brothers

Especially when they extend the love of God

Protecting us!

Not just for Israel

But also for Palestine,

Especially when these sacred lands that are squabbled over

ARE THE CREATOR’s!

And are wide enough,

deep enough for ALL

And in the end, return to the Creator’s Hands

Not just for the police,

Who struggle to do what they are called

Commissioned to

But also struggle to enact tough love

with those in their ranks

Who do not see their job, their mission

As an expression of God’s Love and Mercy

But also for those protestors

Who feel as if their communities

Are not loved at all

Not just for the faithful

But even for atheists,

Who perhaps the reason why they feel there is no God,

Is because we who cling to religious doctrines and dogma

and not to God,

And not to the Word of God,

Which is Jesus Christ

Are stingy with our love,

And demand that they prove themselves worthy

Of God’s Love

(pause)

What happens when we come to those places of holiness,

To hear that God Loves US

And we are confronted with the Good News,

The tough Love in the Gospel

That Creator God’s LOVE EXTENDS BEYOND

What we could possibly imagine

That goes beyond our own limits,

Boundaries we establish

God’s Love, Mercy and GRACE

Is also for those whose presence grates our nerves

Whose voices we have tuned out,

And voluntary chosen to be deaf,

Because their voices are crying out

for the smallest drop of love,

So they can keep on living,

keep on pushing through this life

(pause)

We do not practice the Love that is clearly here

“It does not dishonor others

It keeps no record of wrongs”

We forget what the Scriptures remind us,

“If one part suffers..”

Instead of withholding the Love that God gives to us

To give to others

When they are in need,

Why are we not implementing that same tough love

On those authorities

Who because of not remembering how to Love

Or impact Grace

Or react with Mercy,

Their actions have been the cause of devastating situations

That affect those that we are called to serve

With Love

(pause)

Jesus reminds these children of God before Him,

And us, beloved

When we are confronted with the truth of our

Pettiness

Loathing

Fear

In those moments when God’s Word

calls us out of our temper tantrum

The Good News is that in that chaos,

That storm of anger

When we PUSH GOD away,

Because the realization is that God’s Love

Is cosmic

Is overwhelming

Is healing

Is for everyone-

God still embraces us,

Loves US

Regardless!

(pause)

It is hard to fathom,

That God’s Love is for all of us

Regardless of how we identify,

Praise

Worship

God.

It is not our call to judge one another,

Or merely see one another as something unlovable

But it is our call to Love, to care,

To struggle, to journey with

To try and fail and try again.

None of us is perfect, right?

The Good News is both Love and Tough Love

Because the Creator wishes all

To be in that beloved, eternal community.

Thanks Be to God

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