Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Beauty of Love
What does family and love have to do with anything?
Love is there
Ring the brass bells and toot the brass horns and dance like there is no tomorrow, for today you have love. There are some tragedies of life and there always will be. There are some triumphs in life and there always will be. And there is love and there always will be. Around here we are dealing with a cancer scare. It is almost a blessing. Oh I do mean that. You see the tragedy brings out more love and that is a very good thing. You see I make this personal so that I am not sermonizing from an abstract basis but can speak of a truth that is real and not just thought up.
For sure I am the one facing the cancer. And for sure that means my family is facing the cancer. And that is a blessing because we are facing it together in love. We hug more deeply, smile more sweetly and hold hands more completely. Life has some ugliness but in love it is not just tolerable but enjoyable. If I run and fall and scrape my knee and my mother, in love, kisses it and makes it better then the fall and scrape are worth their weight in gold. If I fail at my task but am consoled in love then the failure was worth the trying. Now go easy here, we do not go out and look for failure or tragedy in order to get love. But we give it our best shot knowing that there is a wonderful net of love ready to catch us should we fall off the high wire.
One of my favorite passages goes like this “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” Isn’t that cool it is from Paul writing to a church that is having difficulties. He wrote it to the Corinthian group in 1 Cor 13:2
When storm clouds present themselves
I have always just loved this song.
Cry the tears of love and refresh
The cool part about that above passage is that it talks of triumph. Wow what would it be like to have all knowing knowledge? It would be spectacular. I would love it. Wait a second. I would love it? Oh yes I would love it and therefore be more complete. But that misses the point. We do not speak of love of a thing or circumstance here we speak of loving each other. You see even in triumph if we miss the mark of carrying love from and to others we are of nothing. I do not know for sure about you but I would suggest that nobody but nobody wants to be nothing. I want to be somebody and when I get a loving hug I am not just somebody I am on top of the world. Oh dear we can see where that goes. If we love somebody deeply then we put them on top of the world also. What a gift. This love thing is spectacularly contagious and contiguous if you get my drift.
Now let us get back to tragedy. As I pointed out this is not empty philosophizing this is from personal experience. If we meet tragedy and triumph and treat those two imposters just the same then we have love. (I borrowed that from Kipling although he left out the love part) But we must not forget the love part.
I am an empty vessel without love and anything that comes along will crack my walls. If I am full of love then that love will fill the crack and even spill some of my love out for the world. We often speak of hardship and things that are hard to do. So be it life is filled with such. But there is one thing that comes so naturally and is so easy and that is loving. Why does it take so much energy to be in anger and hate and yet fill us with energy to be in love? I think about that and I just wonder at it. If I love I am filled with energy and contentment. If I do the opposite I am drained of energy and unhappy. Well what would you pick? And that brings us right back to the cancer concept. If I am filled with doom and gloom and anger and hate and that drains me of energy and positive feelings then what? If I vitalize my body with love and positive energy then what? I do not have to be a genius to figure which one will help to defeat the cancer. Plain as this exceptionally large nose on my face. If I cry tears of anguish and languish in sorrow I shall reap those benefits, if that is what you call them. If I cry tears of happiness and joy and love then I rid myself of toxins through my tears.
Sorry I just love this picture
Different for me, but my loving nephew sent this to me.
Practice, baby, practice
Oh do not be so critical here that you miss the point. I love my life and I love my wife and children. I really like it when things go smoothly. And then there is the bump in the road. And things continue on smoothly. What you say, how does life go on smoothly with cancer in the winds? Well for every bump there is a reaction and if that reaction is love then the bump is handled sweetly like brand new shock absorbers on your car. And baby we have one sweet suspension around here. The weight in our car is love and it goes up and down according to the bumps in the road.
Ok it is time to get down to the brass tacks of the How Too. How do you do this thing of love when the chips are down? Practice baby practice. When that road is smooth and straight you set your self into the mode of love and you kick that ball around until you get it just right and then when the going gets tough you are in love shape to carry it on.
Now is the perfect time to lay out that great love scripture we here at weddings you know the one “love is” it is found at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 just copy and paste it into your browser to read it, it is worth it. But we take another look at it here. Love is the juice of life. Love is that part of you that never worries about winning. Love is that crack in your armor against the world. Love is that sweet surrender of life. Love is all about you not worrying about you. Love is what you get when you give it. Love makes sickness well. Love makes troubles just swell. Love is the getting out of ourselves and into the good. Love is the picking up of the fallen and love is you.
Oh who cares about the cancer, that tidbit was just to keep this real and not like an empty gong. Or to put it scripturally “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” You see the cancer does not have me. Love has me. Who could deny that that is worth all the tragedy in the world?
Please on this wonderful Easter weekend go love yourself and somebody else. And if you got no other reason to do it, practice baby, practice.