334: Love makes the world go round, a Valentine's Day Celebration by Patti England
Day 334: Saturday, February 13th, 2021
Let's get ready for our Valentine's Day Celebration Tomorrow
It will be on ZOOM starting tomorrow at 4:45
Here's the link and please note the new Meeting ID and Passcode:
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5193158573
Meeting ID: 519 315 8573
If you're calling in:
One tap mobile +1(669) 900 - 6833,,5193158573#
Love makes the world go round,
our Valentine's Day Celebration by Patti England
Love makes the world go round, ……
Love is a very strange word, especially in the English language where it can be used to describe our relationship with our soul mate, our children and grandchildren, our closest friends and family, our pets, our God and the French Fries at McDonalds.
Any of us that have studied Greek philosophy or just kept our ears to the ground have heard about Eros – the romantic, sometimes erotic, love for our spouses or partners; and Philia – the love we have for our brothers and sisters and closest friends; and Agape – the selfless love we have for our God, for nature and for all of humanity, the kind of love Jesus tried to teach us.
So tonight, let’s let love wash over us
Song: Wonderful World
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13
Linda Wildman: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my boy to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
From Jan Richardson (In the Sanctuary of Women):
That you will go into the heart of God
and find the heart of the world.
That you will go into the world
and find the heart of God.
From Thomas Merton
We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others. What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.
Gospel Reading: Adapted from Richard Rohr, Essential Teachings on Love.
Marcia Dahlan: Love alone is sufficient unto itself. It is its own end, its own merit, its own satisfaction. It seeks no cause beyond itself and needs no fruit outside of itself. Its fruit is its use. Love is our deepest identity and what we are created in and for. To love someone “in God” is to love them for their own sake and not for what they do for us. Only a transformed consciousness sees another person as another self, as one who is also loved by Christ, and not as an object separate from ourselves on which we generously bestow favors. If we have not yet loved or if love wears us out, is it partly because other people are seen as tasks or commitments or threats, instead of as extensions of our own suffering and loneliness? Are they not in truth extensions of the suffering and loneliness of God?
When we live out of this truth of love, instead of the lie and human emotion of fear, we will at last begin to live. Love is always letting go of a fear. In the world of modern psychologizing, we have become very proficient at justifying our fears and avoiding simple love. The world will always teach us fear. Jesus will always command us to love. And when we seek the spiritual good of another, we at last forget our fears and ourselves.
Divine love or charity has nothing to do with feelings of “liking” one another. One key biblical word for love, agape, is not based on the myth of romantic love or good feelings about one another. It is a love grounded in God that allows us to honestly desire and seek the other’s spiritual growth. This faith, this love, this Holy Mystery—of which we are only a small part—can only be awakened and absorbed by the silent gaze of prayer. Those who contemplate who they are in God’s ecstatic love will be transformed as they look and listen and find and share. This God, like a Seductress, does not allow Herself to be known apart from love. We know God by loving God. And I think that it is actually more important to know that we love God than to know that God loves us, although the two movements are finally the same.
Patti: When I think of love, my first thought is always of my beloved Jay. We were so blessed to have found each other and to share the best part of our life together. This day, this Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t let it go without mentioning him. I truly believe that our coming together was a gift to both of us from God. The wonderful thing about love is the more you give it, the more you have to give.
I invite you to share your stories of love and/or how love has touched you.
Patti: What do we bring to the table:
(After everyone shares what they bring to the table)
Let’s gather these prayers spoken and silent, bring them to our heart and send them into the universe.
Patti: Holy Creator, we come to you tonight battered by the last year of physical isolation from our community and our loved ones, by the awareness of racial inequity, by political strife and polarization and by the loss of dear members of our community. Gather us to yourself, that we might gain strength and courage to preserve in love and hope.
Jacqueline: On the night before he died, Jesus was at table with his friends.
He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to his friends saying,
All: “This is my body, broken for you.”
Patti: As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again he gave thanks to you, gave it to his friends and said,
All: “This cup is the new covenant of my lifeblood shed for you and for all.
And as often as you do this, You do this in memory of me.”
Jacqueline: Now gathered at your table, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, as living offerings of your love. Pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts and all of us that we may be the Your Living Body, Your Lifeblood.
Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us all your new creation.
All: (spoken not sung)
We remember how you loved us all your life.
And we still celebrate for you are with us here.
And we believe that we will see you. When you come, when you come again! We remember! We celebrate! We Believe!
Patti: Now gathered at your table, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice. Pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts that they, and we, may be the Body and Blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation.
Jacqueline: In the fullness of time bring us with all your saints from every tribe and language, from every people and nation to feast at the banquet prepared
from the foundation of the world.
All: For it is through him, with him and in him, now and forever.
Now together, as one community, we offer to you O God,
our prayer, in the name of your beloved son and our brother, Jesus:
Our Father/Our Mother
All: Indwelling God, infused throughout all existence, we honor you with many names. Your realm is within the human heart. We accept life for all that it can be, on earth as throughout all creation. May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth, and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own. May we ever move from separation toward union, to live in grace, with love in our hearts, forever and ever. Amen (Source: Fred F Keip, UUA Worship web)
Offering of Peace:
Vicki Rivera: Let us now offer one another some sign of peace and love.
Patti: Everyone is welcome to this table.
Our God, whom the universe cannot contain is present to us in this bread.
Our God, who redeems us and calls us by name, now meets us in this cup.
So, come, Beloved Friends, and take this bread, Drink this wine,
In them, God comes to us, so that we may come to God.
We invite everyone to partake of their communion.
Song: One Bread, One Body (sung by John Michael Talbot)
Vicki Rivera: The life and passion of a person leave an imprint on the ether of a place. Love does not remain within the heart, it flows out to build secret tabernacles in a landscape.
- John O’Donohue
Final Song: Servants Song