On Sunday, February 26, Kathie Ryan, ARCWP and Deven Horne led the Upper Room Liturgical Celebration using the Eucharistic Prayer: Belonging. Deven’s homily starter follows the readings below by Richard Rohr, Edwina Gateley and the Gospel writer Luke.
A Reading from Richard Rohr
As you spiritually mature, you can forgive your own-and others-mistakes. You can let go of everyone who hurt you, your former spouse, the boss who fired you, the church, or even God. You have no interest in carrying around negative baggage. Wisdom emerges when you can see everything, you eliminate none of it, and you include all as important training. Finally everything belongs!
Boxes A Poem by Edwina Gateley
So-how come you’re doing a keynote for a gay group? A curious colleague asked, “You are not gay are you?”
There it is again—the great give-away—of our eternal quest to fit our world into safe slots and labels. Identities—to satisfy the need of insecure souls that must place everyone in neat little boxes—lined up and labeled (according to our perceptions and judgments.) like rowson a supermarket shelf.
It is easier, that way, to separate the ones that don’t quite fit, the ones that refuse to conform to the expectations and demands of the false morals of our society and church.
The small souls and stone institutions of our world are comfortable with definitions that exclude any possibility of a wild and wondrous kaleidoscope of creativity and difference.
They fear the Divine Dance—the great outpouring of God’s love—that eternally delights and rejoices at the birthing of diversity.
Ah I have a notion that our Lover God plots through all eternity to tip-toe, secretly thro’ our world—scattering neat rows, labels and boxes from our nicely stacked shelves, and then run off—giggling in delight and glee, as they all come tumbling down in riotous passionate love.
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke
Love those you disagree with and do good to them. Lend without expecting repayment. Be compassionate as the Holy One is compassionate. Do not judge. Do not condemn. Pardon. Give a full measure.
Homily Starter by Deven Horne
The readings today suggest a new consciousness or operating system. Jesus tells us to love those who disagree with us and not just in our heart but in our actions by actually doing good things for them. Richard Rohr tells us that spiritual maturity is when we see those who have hurt us as part of us. By carrying them around within us as hurtful, wisdom will not reside in us. In the beautiful poem by Edwina we see her vision of a God who goes before us breaking down barriers and boxes. When we are small and learning as children we are taught by differentiation. We learn to put blocks in sets by color or by size or by shape. It is needed and useful so that we can learn language and be able to communicate with each other rationally. As we mature this is often taken further as search for our identity, who am I? A woman, a man, a gay woman, a Muslim man, a democrat, a republican etc. But the labels have often served to limit us and often hurt us. I once wrote a column for a newsletter for a Special Education School about the limiting constructs of labels. Emotionally disturbed, cognitive impaired, autistic were designed to assist educators design treatments or strategies. But as the readings guide us today, we learn that spiritual maturity and greater consciousness and becoming one with the Divine means we must first and foremost include all of that as part of us as we are part of God as children of God. Being part of a family as I have been has taught me that the children in the family are all different and we don’t always or often we don’t agree with each other and we have different points of views. But as my mother taught me, that does not matter and you are first and foremost my children and you are your sister and brother. Which means I need to love them and more than that I have to accept them, help them, forgive them and delight passionately that they are part of me. What did you hear? Where is the challenge for you?