Sermon for June 24, 2018
One of the easiest ways for me to tell how much pain a person is in, how disconnected they might be from their spiritual identity, is how quickly, and easily, they judge and condemn others. This stands true whether I’m assessing myself, counseling someone, or just watching from afar.
This sickness of judgement, of condemnation, is magnified with the proliferation of all kinds of news via social media, and the easy access of the information on the internet in general. Where we were once challenged to make sense of our family, neighborhood, town, state etc, we are now faced with news from the entire world. Instead of taking time to identify with a situation, a person, or whatever the topic may be, we objectify these things, make a quick assessment, and move along. You begin to become a totally disconnected consumer of concepts that have a reality only in your own perception.
Sermon for June 17, 2018
Imagine a moment in your life when you were suddenly scared or shocked, as if someone had jumped out from behind a door when you weren’t expecting it. Imagine that instant, right after the shock, before even the fear, or recognition, of what occurred. There is a moment of just being, without any real thought or distraction, sense of future or past, in the conventional sense. Close your eyes and identify with that state, then read on. Stay as grounded in that state as you can but don’t put too much effort forth. Just imagine it and read on from that open, in the moment, state.
In those moments when you’re able to see through the daily flow of practical, worldly life, a world dominated by the speed of our thoughts, conceptual, intellectual thinking, a constant influx, a bombardment, of images and influences, do you look for ‘something more’? Do you have a sense of ‘can this really be all there is’? Mystics throughout the ages are said to have experienced this something more. They’ve even tried to describe it, to help others follow that innate sense. Different names have been used to refer to these things- grace, realization, awakening, enlightenment, the Christ within, union with God. It all can seem so real, and yet so elusive. Even reading back what I’ve said does absolutely no justice to what seems inherently there, and yet totally beyond reach of these blunt instruments we call words.
The Husnock. If you’re a Trekkie, you know what, or more appropriately who, this refers to...bear with me if you’re not aware (I won’t hold it against you that Star Trek is not in your world). If you haven’t seen the episode I’m referring to, SPOILER ALERT ahead.
The Husnock was a race that was extremely aggressive. As they would normally conquer other worlds in order to expand their interests, they chose a new target, a planet of colonists, and began to destroy anyone who defied them. Little did they know, the planet they chose to attack this time was home to a being of immense power.
This being had been living in human form, with his wife, for years. He was a nonviolent entity and lived out his life as a human without anyone knowing who, or what, he was- not even his human wife. When the Husnock arrived, he tried to reason with them. He tried everything he could to deal with the warrior race in a peaceful way.
Sermon for June 3, 2018
We like to think we’re in control, that we have a general idea of what is going on in our lives. We try to reinforce this feeling in as many ways as we can, because we have an innate sense it isn’t true. We make up rules, concepts, ideas, systems all in order to make reality feel like something we can control. This is a double edged sword because there are times when it helps to calm us into a sense we can actually have some security, making the world seem not so overwhelming, but it also causes great anxiety because we know, just under the surface of our pretending, that none of the things we invent to help us can offer any REAL security or control over our lives.
We can temporarily maintain some sense of control as long as we stay within our made up set of parameters. The problem is, life will ALWAYS violate the rules we make up. Death, disease, a traffic jam on the way to work, a betrayal by a close friend, a failure of something you had put great faith in. Big things, little things, simple thing, complicated things, they are all subject to the checkmate power life has over our sense of our existence and control.