If a (wo)man is to live, (s)he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.” – Thomas Merton
Each morning this week start with this simple meditation: as you inhale say to yourself, “I am breathing in, I know that I am breathing in” and as you exhale say to yourself, “I am breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” Below is the video we watch this past Sunday.
Every once in a while, when I sit in the sanctuary during worship on Sunday, I find myself looking around at those who are gathered in the pews and asking myself, “What has brought them to church today? Why did they choose to come to church?”
We know that many people make a different choice each week. Instead of going to church, they choose to read the Sunday paper; others choose to sleep late, or play golf, or go to brunch, or wash the car. I say “many,” but the truth is it’s “most.” Recent polls indicate that 36% of Americans report that they attend a church service weekly, but studies show that only 20% of them actually do so. Given their penchant for stretching the truth, the other 16% would doubtless benefit from going to church.
Why do you choose to come to church on Sunday?
On a hunch, I Googled the phrase, “loneliest day of the week.” Of the 116,000 results, it looks like at least 115,000 of them agree that it’s Sunday.
I don’t think we come to church because we are lonely, but I do think that some of the loneliest people in the world are those who do not go to church. I’m reminded of the words of the late theologian, James Luther Adams, who wrote, “There are two necessary things in life: a sense of ultimacy and a sense of intimacy.”
I think we come to church for these two necessary things in life: a sense of ultimacy and a sense of intimacy—that is, a desire to find God and to find our place in God’s family. I admit that I may be wrong. Maybe it’s the coffee and donuts. But I like to think that it’s because, in worship, you draw near to God and neighbor, and you find profound meaning and friendship in each.
See you in Church,
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” ~ 1 John 4:16
I hope you all were able to spend time with your moms on Mother’s Day. Your mom does so much for you and it’s always nice to have a special day to recognize all she does! Below is a special video for moms and anyone who feels like they aren’t always appreciated.
What’s Happening This Week?
I know this is a busy time of year. I hope you’re not too stressed. Please take time and enjoy the space you are in now. Remember you are on holy ground!
This week marked the 50thanniversary of the Children’s Crusade against racial segregation.The march through downtown Birmingham was led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and ended with Eugene “Bull” Connor unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on the demonstrators.More than 2,500 youth were arrested, but public outcry helped spur the passage of the Civil Rights Act a year later.
In our current age of deep division and polarization, marked by what many have called “the end of civility,” it’s important to remember that day in Birmingham fifty years ago-to acknowledge the bigotry and violence of our past as a nation, and to be reminded once again of how lasting, substantive change ultimately dawns in our society.
The Civil Rights Movement grounded itself in the principles of non-violence, and it held to the notion that our words can be as violent and destructive as our actions.Dr. King’s “Six Principles of Nonviolence” are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago:
- Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
- Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
- Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
- Nonviolence holds that suffering for a cause can educate and transform.
- Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
- Nonviolence holds that the universe is on the side of justice and that right will eventually prevail.
If you were to live out these principles in your daily encounters with people-especially those with whom you disagree, or even your adversaries-would it change how you act when you are with them, or how you speak to them, or how you speak about them?
This week, we read a passage from John’s Gospel in which Jesus offers a final prayer for his disciples before he leaves them.”May they be one,” he prays to God, “as you and I are one…and may the love with which you have loved me be in them, and I in them…” (17:23-26).
Jesus believed that only by that unity with each other, rooted in the radical love of God, would the world come to believe the Gospel.In other words, our unity is our witness.Such unity doesn’t mean that we must or will agree on every issue, or any issue at all.It simply means that beyond the issue is a real person whom God loves, and for whom Christ died.
See you Sunday,