Sermon Summary for Sunday, November 6th, 2016 | Respectfully Submitted by Mal Underwood
Sunday was our celebration of All Saints’, Mother Mary’s third favorite major feast day of the year behind Christmas and Easter. Noting all the names of those honored by their loved ones this day, she observed that she wished she had the time to hear each story of real commitment love that was shared in each of those relationships. She added that one of the primary goals of Christian life is to love, as given to us by God. As Jesus tells us in John 13:35 – “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Mother Mary reminded us that our salvation is not based on living a sinless life, which is impossible, but on having agape (selfless, sacrificial, unconditional) love in our hearts for God and each other as God has for us. No amount of piety or rules-conformity replaces this love.
Wedding vows are shared with strong feelings of romantic love. In the long run, committed life partners develop a deeper, sustainable love through God’s help and presence in their lives. Mother Mary gave us a metaphor of life as a long, ocean voyage on a sailing vessel where we are the captains who must use our talents and hard work to complete the journey. However, in spite of our work, it cannot be accomplished without the wind in the sails, which represents God’s love, guidance, and support along the way. Also, God’s call to love does not include abiding in an abusive, toxic relationship. The committed love between couples is to be mutually given and received.
Finally, Mother Mary urges us to experience this love and express it. Our communities are never the same when we do. It is the essence of the heavenly kingdom, the very stuff of hope. It begins now and endures forever and ever. The saints already know this – do we?