West- Enter Water and deliver to us the outpouring of emotions that come with Love
North- Enter Earth and give us the stability to love fully and wholly
East- Enter Air and let us celebrate the ideas and inspirations of Love
South- Enter Fire and give us the passion and transformation that Love may consume us and yet leave us standing
Center (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bY0fdgpISc start at 0:45 and stop at 0:56)
Every year Sacred Journey Fellowship selects a patron. This year we have selected Aphrodite and we give her tribute in music. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIfEkCZgny0) But the ancients could not settle on her name, thus creating the saying that a pagan tradition is one where everyone agrees to mispronounce the deities’ names the same. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPEhQugz-Ew)
As you may have noticed the subject of today’s service is Love. Love is such an imprecise word in the English language, it means so many things in just four little letters. Is this why we have the saying about four-letter words being curses in English? But I digress. I was asked to do this service because I love everybody, I am poly-amourous. But that does not mean I love everybody the same way, oh! no far from it. There is no way I could love Greg Abbott the same was as I love Barbara. I mean besides the fact that I don’t swing that way, Greg Abbott is a vile, evil character who actively plots the destruction of the poor and female of the state, and this is just from his public writings and statements. But that does not mean that Greg Abbott does not deserve my love, but the love I have for Abbott is far different than the love I have for my wife, or even the love I have for my fellow congregants. I still love Greg Abbott, I just wish to love him from a distant state where he has no power to hurt other people I also love. And I think that is the thing that defines my love, a strong desire that other people not get hurt.
Kahlil Gibran made a famous statement on the subject of love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNtZLPsu9hs)
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Love each other but respect them as separate people. They are not parts of you even though you keep them in your heart, and you in theirs.
We should share love just like we share food. Unfortunately for some people this is true but not in the way we desire, they don’t give food to anybody, and the same with their love. They don’t share ANYTHING! food, water, shelter, love and especially anything that costs money. They horde their money like Smaug, sitting atop figurative mountains of money while others have nothing. And they also horde their love like keeping it to themselves somehow increases its value. But what value does love have if it isn’t shared, shared freely and without recourse? Because without being shared with other people love is useless, as useless as food sealed inside blocks of molten glass where it will never spoil and can never be eaten. Even self-love can only go so far before it curls back upon itself like a snake. Sorry, folks but if you want your love to grow, you have to give most of it away.
That does not mean that giving away your love is without negative consequence. Love long enough and you will be covered in scars. That does not mean it is not worth it to love and give love. It just means you will be counting a few scars after you live long enough. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqrBsMFRaLA)
But sharing your love with others will let you live as long as others remember you, and what you did. Just make sure that you are remembered for good things, some of us need to work a little harder at the good things to be remembered by. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOjdXSrtUxA)
A long-held tradition of the UU church in general, and this church in specific, is the sharing of Candles of Joy and Concern. Sometimes love creates Joy, sometimes Concern. Please share with us what or who you love, but keep it brief.
Really though all you really need is love. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I)
And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AN7S7n8VdM)
(After announcements and collection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTusGhSSzg4)
Center- I extinguish this flame, but not the light of knowledge or the warmth of community it represents.
South- Thank you Fire for showing us the burning passions we can hold within our hearts, and how they can transform the world. Go and take our blessings
East- Thank you Air for giving us the idea of love and the inspirations to share our love with others. Go and take our blessings.
North- Thank you Earth for giving us the stability to learn about love, for without a stable place to work there can be no way to share love. Go and take our blessings.
West- Thank you Water for giving us the emotions that let us love ourselves and others like a flowing stream, and let that love come down like a cool rain as it covers everything and everybody.
The circle is open, but unbroken, go now in peace. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!