Hello dear ones–this is a personal sermon I gave this weekend as our congregation worked with our monthly theme of acceptance. A challenging practice but not without rewards…. The title, by the way, comes from a line from Libby Roderick’s beautiful song “How Could Anyone Ever Tell You,” which our congregation sang each week this month.
The Zen Buddhists have a tradition of meditating on spiritual puzzles
they call koans.
A koan is sort of a riddle, sort of a story,
a puzzle that you have to sit with for a very long time
before it reveals itself to you completely.
I’ve often thought some artworks are like that too.
I’m so grateful to Mark for playing that nocturne for us today.
It’s a piece I have been living with for a long time
and, in a way, it is the sermon for today.
What I mean by that is, this piece has held for me
a lot of complicated and tender emotions
around acceptance and surrender in my own life.
It has held out for me the promise that we can get through
the very dark times,
the times when everything feels messed up and wrong—
we can get through it and come out on the other side
and rediscover our joy in life. Continue reading
This month the worship theme in our congregation is wholeness. I loved this chance to talk about Parker Palmer’s teachings on wholeness as integrity, when inner truth guides outer behavior, and some of the world scriptures that have spoken to me deeply over the years. Enjoy.
The scriptures of every major religion teach it,
and our hearts confirm it:
we are one, we are whole.
We are all, every one of us, part of the miraculous whole,
emerging from one infinite mystery
that contains within it all beings and all things.
You are that, the Hindu scriptures tell us.
You are that. You are made of Being itself, the source of all. You are that.
The great scientists of our own day feel it too,
the mystery of the world in all its living, breathing, pulsing reality,
and we too a part of it, connected to the whole of the earth
and the universe itself. We are that.
But we forget.
We have to teach ourselves again and again.
We sing, how could anyone ever tell you
you were anything less than beautiful,
less than whole,
less than the miracle you are?
We have to sing it to remind ourselves of the truth
because we are in such danger of forgetting and hurting each other.
It happens all the time.
So many ways we fail to see each other’s wholeness.
So many ways we fail to know our own.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading