GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
Welcome back to our Sunday Service. We are on the third week of Advent. We have lit the candles for Hope & Faith, for Peace, and now we light the candle for Love. Notice, it’s a different color than the others.
Why do you think that is?
This week we are looking at summer through the eyes, experience, thoughts of love.
Summer has always been considered the most romantic of the four seasons. The clear skies, the blazing sun, the gentle summer breeze, and the lazy afternoons flavor the season with passion and warm love.
So our Advent message: Summer and love
All the time I have been thinking about Love and summer, my mind goes to GREASE…’summer loving…you don’t want to hear me sing it! But Grease is one of my favorite movies. Are you singing that song in your head?? I’ve been all week!
So much of our teen years were wrapped up in the wonder of a summer romance. Dances at outdoor venues, beach or pool antics. Walks in the park. In my area, going to Hershey Park for all the rides and entertainment.
And all that is fun to reminisce about. I’ve been doing a lot of it lately, reliving some fun times.
But love and summer don’t just mean walking hand and hand with a person your heart is interested in.
Think about all the places, people and things we love about summer. Here’s an easy start, the beach…nothing like walking along the beach, cool breeze keeping us from the heat of the day.
My family would vacation at the beach with sometimes 4 other families from my father’s side. We’d rent a big house just a few blocks from the beach and share the meals and responsibilities. Our place to go was North Wildwood. So much fun. Pack a lunch and all the chairs and towels, walk the couple blocks and someone would be there by 10 to stake out our spot.
As the morning went on, everyone would end up there for the day. Playing in the waves, waiting for the ice cream man to come around, spending time with cousins and aunts and uncles. These were some of my favorite memories, when we spent time together.
When I was young, I liked the heat. Not so much now, too many heat waves…climate has changed and continues to do so.
Still. Lots to be loving in summer. Look at the abundance in the fields. Love walking through the Farmers Markets, looking for that perfect tomato, or more plants for your garden.
And flowers…who doesn’t love flowers, whether inside making the house smell wonderful. Or outside, beautiful flowers for sight and smell and for the food and habitat of the animals and insects.
Summer is the season with the most ‘light’ and is often symbolized by the sun and the fire element. Summer offers you the special gift of playfulness. It invites you to lighten up. It’s vacation time; school is out. You can laugh more and worry less.
DO you do that? Lighten up? Worry less?
But, if I wander through my favorite Holiday movies that would embody love, I would have to think of when Rudolph leads Santa and his reindeer to the Island of Misfit Toys because what I’m really witnessing is love in action. I feel happy when Ebenezer Scrooge meets Christmas morning with outpourings of generosity to those he had spurned just the day before. Christmas Present – “Come and know me better…” And I feel the same when George Bailey’s friends rush to his aid, and Harry raises his glass and says, “A toast: To my big brother, George, the richest man in town,” because I’m witnessing the transformational power of love, just like Rev. Theresa Burton tells us in the Unity booklet, “A Christmas to Remember.”
She continues, “We have in common the love that elevates us beyond personality and self-centered concern, allowing us to be the vessels through which divine love expresses. To see someone through the eyes of love—to finally see ourselves that way—truly is a Christmas miracle.”
We often forget that love is a verb. Oh yes, most of us think of love as a noun, a thing. Or a feeling, I love you.
But we must put action behind those statements. Rudolph is putting action to his love of the misfit toys, understanding their plight because he experienced it too. He makes sure they get a home with a child. Action.
And Ebenezer Scrooge puts action immediately, not only dancing around in his night clothes, but putting the passing boy to the job and purchasing the prize turkey for the Cratchet family and then swallowing his pride, his ego; and going to his nephew Fred’s house for dinner. Steps of action.
And finally, George Bailey tried everything to find the missing $5000, even swallowing his pride and going to Mr. Potter. Those were all actions of love, taking responsibility for his family. And his family returned that love in the end, helping to gather the town to aid him and everyone dropped what they were doing to help him. I cry every time. This is one of the movies I watch every year…I have a list!
We have an opportunity to put love in action so often. We sometimes miss the chance. Simple things to do for friends, family, neighbors, community. It may look like just opening the door for the person next, but it is love in action.
“When we finally grow weary of making life so hard, of doing battle within and without, we have a way out and a way up. We can choose love.”