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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Is Love Without Works Dead?
The land of my glorious youth
Maybe a sermon is a one way street. How sad to miss the folks going in a different direction
Can you have a talent that is hidden? That is a remarkable question. It makes the thinker pause for a moment. Have you ever heard someone say; “She is a remarkable painter she simply has never painted”. And there is a sister statement we probably never have heard; “She must be a remarkable painter she paints all the time, she simply has never let anyone see her work”. No these are not quite the same as the question of; if a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound? But these get us going on the question that is truly asked by all spiritual people.
There is a wonderful notion that probably has its origins in the Bible. If you were to light a candle for light in the night and then cover it so that it may not be seen of what good is it at all? If we ask enough of these riddle type questions we find something in common with them. A good thing is really not a good thing unless it is good to someone. Be careful here. I just had a loving thought. No one is around to share it with. But it is good because I am someone and it was good to me.
Lest we move too quickly let us remember the wonderful notion that if we do something good in order to receive a benefit from it, perhaps it is not good at all. He who does good for others in secret is perhaps the best of us all. But don’t rush to judgment there.
It is my fervent desire that those who read this or other sermons of mine recognize that many of the notions that I discuss have a Biblical basis. And it is important to me that many recognize that much of what I write about has some basis in other beliefs. Within these twin desires I hope to communicate a commonality of man and not a conformity. We should be able to see that our troubles are not only our troubles but others have similar troubles. And we certainly hope that we also see more clearly that we all share the same goodness in our hearts when we free that goodness into the world.
I use the song below based on a simple line from it. “what have I ever done to deserve even one”.
A man with a life without action? I doubt it!
I reckon I don't believe God is without action. He had a hand in making our wonderful natural world.
Do not break my love, but give me the freedom to let it happen
Please let your gift be that your love grows
There is a space and place in our minds and even in our hearts that we all go some time. We will leave self-pity out of this for now. That horrible deep dark and hopefully momentary focus on how bad we are. This is so uncomfortable and painful. “I am not good enough for anything”. It would be easy if we were to say that this state of mind and heart is to be avoided at all cost. But that would be a lie. This ugly and painful position is essential to us. It is that pain from which we grow in the spirit. It is that slippery rock that we recognize we must take steps to get off of lest we fall into the abyss. Perhaps in fear and trembling we rise into an action that is truly our only hope of escaping the morose view of self. The pit of despair will not let us out until we do something to get out.
So we recognize that sometimes trying to force goodness into our perspective will not work as a mental exercise to free us into love. Some action must be taken to move us into a different angle with which to view the same thing. Once the proper perspective is a achieved we must be steadfast in the journey, so as to let that perspective grow.
Sorry but I had to give some respect to those who give the ultimate act
Excuse me for all that just to make the point that we see that taking action is what “treats” the negative. And so it is that we may get well from a particular malady. But that does not make us well and the best that we can be. Shall we say it is a band aid or an antibiotic? The heart patient does not get sent home with a pill to take alone. Lifestyle must change to avoid another attack.
If I could just never disappoint my my loved ones and God
So we are ready for the positive. What lifestyle does that require? Fear, doubt, insecurity, lack of confidence seem to be our worst enemies in the striving for love with works. But are they really? Speaking for myself alone I suggest that they may just be my greatest ally. As we discussed above we saw that action is the best treatment for just about any malady or danger. The danger of losing our love may be the greatest danger of all. So what works are there to do in order to keep our love alive and not dead? Could it be that a preacher man can tell you what works you must to in order for your love to thrive? I suggest, certainly not. Could even a Holy Book tell us specifically what must be done? We think not. Oh for sure we can get guidance from Holy writings that we believe are inspired.
Here is where it gets really good. I am sure that in my life I learned more from my father than all my 18 years of school study. Why? Well because my father was a good man, and in so being he did good things. A physician by trade, back with house calls and trading treatment for what could be given. Chickens and eggs and yard work and fruit. And so very often nothing at all. My dad was trained Jesuit and later became an agnostic of religion and believing in a Supreme Being. What this gets to is leading by example and attraction rather than promotion.
Have no fear
Please be a bridge by your hand out as an act.
Please Lord always let my actions speak louder than my words.
If you have never read the short Epistle of James – don’t delay it is cool on this subject. Bummer there for some as he kind of debunks the notion that speaking is action. You know what I mean, part of that empty gong concept. It also does not settle too well for those who like to throw scripture around like a police baton. One of the best things about James is the relative anonymity. Folks love to argue about just who this James was, which leads us to understand that we really don’t know. Which gives us the freedom of just looking at the words without prejudgment due to authorship or for that matter that it is in the Bible.
Did anyone ever tell you to do as they say not as they do? That is just downright laughable. I do have this recurring picture of myself in a recliner, swilling beer, watching TV and belching as I scream at my son to do his homework. hihihi
This is really neat. There is a double whammy here when we do good in the name of love. Oh sure somebody gets the benefit of our good work, but many many get to see our example of doing good work in love. (hard to rectify with the above mentioned doing good in secret – but I am sure you can rectify that issue)
Hey let us wrap this up! Just last week I told my wife that I love her. Nothing remarkable there and she responded in kind. I commented that we had not been saying that lately. She looked at me with some consternation. And so I commented that I reckon we don’t need to, as I do not have enough fingers and toes to count all the loving things we have done for each other lately. Our love is not rock solid, it is fluid and growing each day.
So contrary to what you think we were getting at here. Love and Faith are not really dead without works. Or maybe they are, but only God knows just when the work is to be done, and He will let us know in love.