Monday, October 26, 2009

holiest influences...

In a comment on an earlier post concerning barriers to UU growth, Kari Kopnick said "To me, we Unitarian Universalists do speak with one voice on one thing, and it's the thing that really matters. We all believe in love. Nothing is more powerful than that." I am not sure I am quite so optimistic but I do agree that nothing is more powerful than love. And so does Thomas Treadwell Stone. Some excerpts from his sermon, "Perfection in Love"

"There is a greater law. The heavens are over all; the earth is underneath all, and yields to all its fruits. It is not night to the atheist, while day shines for the devout. The sea severs not the wicked from the innocent either in its calm or its storm. The air is one whether man walks in it to worship or to revile. The elements and combinations and powers of the universe, flowing from one fontal love, are unchangeably filled with it, and look with the same serene beauty, and give forth the same benignant issues, whether man heeds and blesses them, or hates and curses. The uprooted oak does not fall because a bad man is passing under it, more than it stands for the good man to escape. The universe and its unstinted soul go on their way, leaving every man to create his own good or evil out of the material of his own life and will and action. So does God know nothing of enmity. Nay, through the courses of time, the One Soul is always living. The sacred fountains never roll back, onward they flow for ever. Justice and all things never reverse themselves ; history reveals an unfolding order wherein all crafts and crooked policies and wrong deeds of men are dissolved in the immovable truth of God to the laws of his boundless philanthropy. The seeming of evil passes into the reality of good; and the good, never ebbing, flows continually higher, and covers all the strands of existence. Before the face of the Lord hate vanishes, only love is. Our harmony with the Father and with his universe is only as we enter into the same sphere of infinite goodness. The man who hates another, separates himself from the divine order. His sun is darkened; the stars fall from his heavens ; his moon withholds her light. He kindles a flame to burn and scathe his own earth; he opens his own Hinnom Valley, and throws himself into its continual fires. He nourishes the worm which devours, the fire which burns, amid its outer darkness. Whereas, in the same world, surrounded by the same external conditions, the man whose whole soul is love finds himself in a state precisely opposite. That love is mirror of an infinite sun ; within the expanse which encircles him fixed stars and undimmed moon shine; his earth is always green, and airs of Paradise float over it; the heavens are opened, and he ascends into their calm sphere, and drinks in their holiest influences..."

Many thanks Kari, and to all


1 comment:

LaVerne Coan said...

That flow of love must be hitting fertile ground. Our minister preached on it this Sunday, with the added note that to a UU, sin might be defined as a loss of knowledge or experience of that flow in our relationships. Our interconnections can be based in an "ethic of love" or in anger and hate. Since we are born into our genetics and social/economic environment, we may have to re-make ourselves to find the love, but when we do, our further responsibility is to act on it. Thanks for the sermon exerpt!