Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Sermons - "Love is everything - Nothing else is real."

Luke 21:5-19 New International Version (NIV)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
I call this the "shit happens" story. Things are pretty messed up on the path of the ego. Jesus calls a spade a spade and tells His listeners that the world of the ego is an ugly place.
Then, He as much as says, "So what?" It's not a big deal. These people and events are not responsible for your unhappiness. You have to decide what's important to you, the path of the ego, or the path of the Spirit which is, of course, the path of Love.
If you stick with Love, you're going to be fine no matter what kind of nonsense is boiling around you.
Jesus tells His listeners that many people will come claiming to speak for Him, and teach His lessons, but don't be deceived by them. If they are not loving they are false.
We Unitarian Universalists believe in the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We know that our salvation does not lie in the ways of the world. People make many idols and worship them thinking their idols will make them happy. In spite of the promises of these idols, disappointment, even death, will occur.
So listen to your inner teacher. Listen to the whisper of Universal love in your heart and simply ask yourself, "What would Love have me do?" Everything else will pass away but Love lasts forever. Jesus promises us, "Stand firm, and you will win Life."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful interpretation of this gospel story.

    I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who think taht Jesus is talking about secular power and happenings even though He clearly isn't.

    Universalism has seen through the veil of the idea of redemptive violence and has rejected it. It's wonder that it is not more frequently preached in our UU churches. Perhaps if it was we could hasten the salvation of the world.


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