Sunday Message – August 20th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Hail and good morning this day in the Light. I hope you each find a moment of quiet today. It is a noisy world, and the angry voices and raucous grind of war make it difficult to find silence and peace. It is important we make time for silence, for I believe it is there the Light best speaks to us. Too many people expect God to announce Himself with trumpets, but God isn’t going to appear and fix things, and no great voice is going to come from the sky– it doesn’t happen that way any more, if it ever did. But “the still small voice” is with us, and that one has always been there.

Some people call it intuition, other people might just call it a “vibe.” Regardless, there is something inside us forever connected to the Light and the great web of Being. When we are quiet, sometimes we hear it– sometimes when we look to the sky at night and our gaze lingers on the stars, sometimes when we look out across the horizon and feel the pull to chase it, when we feel the touch of crisp wind in the warm sun, or find ourselves struck silent by something beautiful– this is how we know God is with us. The Light is a feeling, a presence, a quiet undertone amidst the cacophony. We haven’t a chance of hearing it if we’re screaming at each other.

It takes courage to a peacemaker, to choose quiet when the world incites us to rage, to enforce peace in our lives when the world would bring violence to our door, and to be brave in loving one another when we’re told to be distrustful of everyone. Peace is always an act of courage– make no mistake: peace is not always synonymous with pacifism. Quite the opposite: peace will be achieved through activism, constant engagement, vigilant attention, and radical kindness in the name of love. We cannot make peace by praying, or donating money. We make peace by extending our own hands, raising our own voices, and crossing our thresholds every day to walk in the world that needs us. Though it is a frightening place at times, we will walk unafraid, for the Light is with us, and we know already that Love and Peace will win over whatever Darkness rises on our horizon. We need only be constant in our commitment to peace, and follow the Light– we are the barrier which stands against Darkness. We needn’t match the Enemy’s tactics, we need only stand together as an unmovable line of decency, dignity, intelligence, and love. We know what is right: Love, equality, education, kindness– these are of the Light. Whatever would part us from those things has no place in a decent world, and we must hold strong to that. Some things are not on faith: we do not need faith or spirituality to tell us it is right to be kind to each other. It is not by faith we know that humankind was created equal, and therefore every person deserves respect and that no one is above another. God does not need to tell us that violence wrong, that allowing people to starve or go without healthcare is wrong, or that wishing evil upon our neighbors is wrong. Some things we know because we are decent people, and we must be vigilant to remain so. It is easy to get swept into the angry tide, but we are not the tide– we are the rock upon which it breaks. This is the pattern of history. Love and peace are cumulative and immortal forces. Stomp them down, they grow back stronger, more resilient, more determined. They may be delayed, but they will not be stopped. Love is the pattern and Love is the endgame; we need only stand in its name and hold the line.

Amen and Namaste.

Sunday Message – August 13th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair (piano’d by him too).

Good morning, and peace be with you this day in the Light. Peace may seem hard to achieve today, quietness hard to find, and reconciliation far out of reach. Some days there may be only noise. Some days, chaos will take the upper hand. It is on these days when faith is most difficult. Sometimes, my heart is not full of thanksgiving and prayer, only questions.

I find myself today lacking prayer. It isn’t enough. In the face of hatred and violence, it isn’t enough. Faith cannot be passive. We are, all of us, players in a story far bigger than ourselves, and each a participant in a spiritual battle raging every day. We mustn’t simply sit by and pray– God cannot fix these things for us, for we have done them to ourselves. It is only by being radically accepting, choosing love over hatred, peace over violence, and action over inaction that we have a prayer of combating the evil at work in this world.

And there is real evil– to deny it only gives the monster strength. Real evil is insidious; it permeates thought and reason, distorts reality, and makes hatred seem normal where it ought to repulse us. We cannot allow ourselves to become comfortable with the presence of evil. We must move through the world with eyes open, minds sharply attentive, and we must denounce evil, cruelty, and injustice wherever we see it.

While I know many of you listen from all over the world, today I find myself still shocked and heartbroken by what unfolded in practically my backyard yesterday– you may have seen coverage of Charlottesville in Virginia. I find myself compelled to say: these acts of violence will never be acceptable, and whatever ideology that hides behind White Nationalism (by whatever name it’s called), self-righteous patriotism, or Manifest Destiny: this is the great spectre which haunts the nation. This underlying sense of superiority will be the downfall of Goodness if it is not checked. When people begin to denounce reason, choose division over unity, reject science, and believe it is acceptable to take up arms against a neighbor, this is where evil takes hold. These are the things we must challenge daily in our lives, the things which much rally us to fight. One cannot fight evil with violence, for one begets the other in a cycle we see unfolding behind us through history. Instead, we must meet evil with unity, an unwavering commitment to love and decency, and the strength of heart to say, “You will not speak for us, and if that is how you would speak, you will not be welcome here.”

There is freedom of speech, but there is no freedom of consequence. If a person’s speech perpetuates evil and encourages violence, then that person has used their freedom in a way which compromises the freedoms and safety of others. As a people, we must not tolerate this. We must never tolerate evil, and this particular form of evil walks next to us every day. It sows its seeds in our neighbors, our coworkers, sometimes even our families. At times, the scope is so vast it seems there is nothing a person can do– what is one to a multitude? Very important, I’d say. Sometimes all it takes is one voice in a conversation to say, “that isn’t right.” Sometimes a small act of kindness can combat great damage done by evil. It doesn’t matter what you do– speak, write, rally, take relief supplies to those who need them– it only matters that use the voice you have, and do not participate in evil’s advance through your silence.

Peace to you, and be brave in the Light.

Sunday Message – August 6th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and may be well met this day in the Light. We give thanks for the skies above us, which remind us change is constant. We give thanks for the water, which nourishes life and teaches us that patient persistence will win. We give thanks for the earth under our feet, for the history and promise it imparts. We give thanks for the fire, which warms and warns us, and teaches us to respect the things we would control. We rejoice in our being, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we rejoice in being part of the beautiful expanse called Life.

It is easy, I think, to lose sight of the wonders around us. People never stop talking, machines grind on unknowing of time, the media at all hours tells us of the evil swirling over the land, and all at once it seems a noisy and dangerous world. That is one face of it, I won’t deny, but it has many others too. In the midst of horror, there are always people who are brave and selfless. Even in the loudest of cities grow the most audacious flowers.

The world is full of little wonders if you look, little slivers of Light breaking through the cracks where evil break it. This is why I hope. At times, hope seems a foolish thing– a remnant of childhood, indicative of naivety and inexperience. I say it isn’t, not always. Sometimes hope is all that is left of a soul when it has passed through the trials of the world. I say if there remains hope, then there remains strength and direction, and those things are not foolish, not in any circumstance. Hope is a defiant thing. Hope, I believe is the thread which tethers us to the Light, the thing which enables faith, and sustains us when faith deserts us. For it is possible to hope for something, without having faith it will be there. Hope is all that is needed for Light, for hope is simply act of turning your face toward what you hope will be better. It is by Love that the Light is waiting at that turn. So long as there is hope, the Light will find you.

So walk with a hopeful spirit. You needn’t have unshakeable faith, nor perfect knowledge, nor some grand achievement. You need only have hope and love for the world, and the little wonders that sustain it.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – July 30th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and may we be well met this day in this Light. We give thanks today for the Light in our lives, for the small things that bring us joy, and the occasional word or song that echoes encouragement for us. Pursuing the Light can be a lonely task. Doing what is right may sometimes cost you dearly, but it’s no reason not to do it.
We were never told life would be easy, only that we could do it with the Light at our side. We weren’t promised a simple life, nor one of luxury. The Light can only give us courage enough, strength enough, and sense enough to survive. We must make peace with ourselves before can make peace with the world, for we are as we were made, and while we are each imperfect, we are each exactly who we need to be.
Sometimes you will lose. Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes people you thought you could count on will disappear when you need them. The Light is the only omnipresent force, and even the Light we cannot see all the time. To learn to be alone is essential. Learning to keep moving, to keep your momentum when there is no one else to encourage you, this is a skill of Light. The ability to be alone is crucial to the preservation of your Self. If you never give yourself time to hear your own thoughts, and the pull of the Light, you will find the thoughts and words of everyone else running through your head, and that’s often an unpleasant background noise for one’s day.
No one knows who you should be but you and the Light. If the pursuit of your Self renders you alone at some point, you’re probably doing it right. Take pride in yourself, in your journey, and do not be ashamed to share it, for even when you find yourself alone, you are here for a reason– we must only survive long enough for opportunity to present itself.
Amen and Namaste.

Sunday Message – July 16th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning and blessings, this day in the Light. We come together as mutual seekers of truth, finding ourselves in a world of confusion and division. Every voice screams so loudly, it can seem impossible to hear the truth. I believe the truth, like the Light, is an inherently quiet thing– a still, small voice remaining constant under the cacophony of life. Often when the world is loudest, the truth seems farthest away, but I believe it is there. Always, there.

We carry in us the seed of truth, because in each of us is a spark of God, the Great Truth. If we make ourselves quiet of spirit, open to the lessons of both our inner journey and the world around us, we can become our own teachers, and make our own ways, toward the truth we find in ourselves. It is not for anyone else to tell you who God is, or who you are. These things can only be found through living, surmounting pain, relishing joy, mastering fear, and exploring our worlds boldly. You have as much right to this world as anyone else; let no one ever make you think you are undeserving. We are children of the Light, placed here for a reason; you’ve as much claim as one else. Do not let them silence you. Do not let the truth be drowned out by voices of anger and fearmongering.

If those of us who carry a genuine thirst for the truth remain constant, the truth will come. We must never stop questioning. We must never assume we have the answer, or that the answer we have is complete. We will never know all there is to know about our anything– that is why it frightens me when religions and other organizations promise to reveal the truth. No one can reveal the truth; we can only help each other find it. Like Science, we can only say, “this is my theory, and this is my evidence for it.” To rise in righteous zeal when your god is questioned suggests you are lacking the evidence to support your theory. Perhaps your understanding is not as thorough as you’d like to think. If your understanding is built on what others have told you, I guarantee it is not.

Let us, then, ask of ourselves questions, and do not hide from the answers. The truth is often an uncomfortable business at first, but it is by making ourselves open to the truth that we grow, learn, and flourish. Let us encourage one another, comfort each other when the world whips us, and celebrate the joy that comes in living and learning together.

Amen and Namaste.

Sunday Message – July 8th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Hail and good morning this day in the Light. Today I would like to talk about something important: perspective. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves, for better or worse, whether we we like it or not. Not one of is exempt from the currents of life, the struggles and frictions of our world moving through time and space, with ourselves choosing each day whether to push forward, or become part of the friction.

You’re not as important as you think you are: you are one of many. Yet, not a single one is disposable or replaceable. We are each pieces of the great game, players on a stage we do not understand. Why then, do we insist on dividing ourselves in categories and subcategories, when together our combined force could pull the world itself in its course? We exist for one reason: to support everything else. To quote Walt Whitman: “The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” It isn’t about what’s in it for you, it’s about what we can do together when we start talking about the things we know are true because we all share them. The differences of the individual are important and essential; it is not for us to quibble over them. I am me, and you are, and it is that way because it has to be. Why? I don’t know. I just know we are here existing together, and we can either help each other, or not. In “Charge of the Light Brigade” it says:

“Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.”

Sometimes we don’t why things happen. Life is full of tension, loss, pain, and fearful things. This is inescapable, as energy is expended over the course of time. Energy, however, can be neither created nor destroyed; hence, “the powerful play goes on.” Life is bigger than any one of us, and yet we each have a coin to toss, a card to play, a verse to contribute. Where we cast our love is where we cast our lot. Be careful not to love yourself more than the beautiful tangle of life around you. Pour your love into living, into others, into helping whomever you can in the moment in which you are living. This is a life of love, and a life of Light. This is a choice we can each make every day at any time; the more who actively make it, the more powerful the play will be.

We are soldiers and peacemakers. We fight only with love in the name of love. Where they will roar, we will be the still small voice. Where they will hurl their pointed words or worse, their bullets, we will be the first to lay down arms and say, “enough!” For we are better than violence, better than hatred. Let us sow peace and mercy in our wake, as the Light we follow did for us. To choose quietness of spirit, to choose peace in a time of war, takes great courage. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” Jesus said. Let it be so– may the Light make each of us a courageous peacemaker.

Amen and namaste

Sunday Message – July 2nd, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning and blessings this day in the Light. We give thanks today for the presence of the Light in our lives, the small things that make us smile, and the things that remind of what is Good.

The law of Light is above all Man’s. It is the law of Love. Where there is Love, no Darkness may triumph. Love is greater and brighter than anything, and it shines differently in each of our lives. May it never be for us to judge the manifestation or expression of love in another. For all that is done in the name of Love and Light, is done for Good.

Love is an organic thing. It lives, it breathes in the wind. It grows defiantly in concrete places, and flowers in the face of all adversity. It is the root, unkillable, undying, from which all our worlds and lives spread. From the root of Love sprang each of us, and in each heart lies the potential for Love to flower. The Tree of Life and Love is infinite– Love is not a finite resource. It is the heart which floweth over, able to give boundless love if we overcome our fears and choose to serve the purposes of Love and Light in our lives.

Time flows like river, each of us pulled along, passing one another in the currents of Life. Every day we have the choice to reach out to one another, to extend a hand in love, or to keep our fist to our hearts in guarded suspicion. To choose Love in this world is a dangerous business; it requires courage, sacrifice, and occasionally hurts like hell itself, but I assure you it is worth it. For the more you choose to Love, the more you will find you have to give.

Amen and Namaste.