The theme of my sermon Sunday (July 21) was The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”.
John Lennon wrote the song in the context of the conflicts of the 60s – the Vietnam War, Racism, Gender Discrimination, on and on.
Beatle John’s solution? Love.
Paul wrote his love poem, 1 Corinthians 13, in the context of the conflicts of the church. There were, in the church, factions, divisions, comparisons, competition, categorizations – “I’m better than, more spiritual than, closer to God than – you.”
Apostle Paul’s solution? Love.
The Love Poem of 1 Corinthians 13 was not written to be read at a wedding – although it’s a pretty good fit – it was written to be read at a fight – a relationship fight, a church fight, a community fight, a country’s fight.
Love. How can we love the “other”?
I got a clue from a rock – a talking rock. South of Springfield, MO, where I live, is an attraction called “Talking Rocks Caverns”.
Do you think they’re using “talking” as a metaphor? Have you ever heard a rock talk?
Jesus says if we don’t recognize and respond (eulogeo – bless, speak well of) to Jesus as King of a new kingdom, then the “rocks will cry (an urgent scream) out” (Luke 19:40).
Talking rocks. Shouting rocks.
The Psalmist says there’s a concert in the fields. “The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They shout and sing together for joy (Psalm 65:13).
Singing Sheep and Grain.
There’s a lot of shouting and singing going on in nature. An actual “rock concert”!
How does that help me love?
Jesus teaches us to find God incarnate in this world. Holding up the bread at the last supper, he said, “This is my body.”
Paul writes that “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen” (Romans 1:20).
God can be seen in things if we want to see.
Even in people.
“In the least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46).
According to Paul, all of humanity are God’s “offspring (genos – from God’s genes)” (Acts 17:28).
Does spirituality teach us that we can see God in people and pebbles? I’m thinking, “yes.”
Science seems to teach us the same thing. In case there is any question, I did not do well in science through school. English, Literature, Philosophy? I loved. Not so much for science. But, I’m now I’m reading scientists who sound spiritual!
Science and spirituality both agree that we are all one…that we all come from one God – unless you believe that God is a white-bearded old man living in the clouds. But if you see God as “spirit” (John 4:24), as Universal Being, Cosmic Mind, the unity of the uni-verse makes sense.
“Universe” – “uni” means “one.” “verse” is from the Latin “vertere” and means “to turn.”
Universe means we are turned into one.
We are one. One unified reality. Science tells us that if we look closely enough at any person, plant or rock, its basic structure, the atom, is nothing more that a collection of spinning energy vortices – in everything.
I don’t get that at all. What I do get is this: Despite our apparent separateness, there appears to be one energy source from which we all arise. Whether you call it the “Higgs Boson” or God, science and religion both agree that it’s real (Well that concept is a bit too “out there” for some people of faith to accept.)
There is a supernatural, mystical connectedness between everything…
…even with those with whom I have major disagreements and differences.
Why should I bother with the “other”?
Why should I care about those over there?
Why should I try to walk beside those on the other side?
Why should I be with those with whom I disagree?
Why not walk away from those who think a different way?
Because we’re connected.
Another guy much smarter than I, Tom Chi, said, in a Tedx Talk that “societies that deeply adopt this idea are the ones who over time deepen their level of consideration, deepen their level of expression, deepen their level of understanding, for each other.” He goes on to say that “this is actually something that is literally true.”
Since the connection is true, the unity is a reality, I need to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bonds of peace (Ephesians 4:3).