“I know Unitarian Universalism saves lives, because it saved mine. Salvation is no metaphor. Unitarian Universalism offers us a faith that restores vision, a faith that is emotionally literate, intellectually mature, socially relevant, spiritually grounded, morally courageous, ethically innovative, concerned for others, and self-loving—especially when things fall apart.
Our focus on the transformative power of love derives from the intuition that we are expressions of divinity in the deepest core of our souls. And because of this we are called to unconditional, redemptive love. We love ourselves by loving each other by loving ourselves by loving each other—and in doing so we imitate the divine, that creative power of the universe and human culture, the only way we can: with our whole beings.”
- Scott Sammler-Michael, from "Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism".
I met my new spiritual director for the first time this week. As I arrived for our first meeting I felt a knot in my stomach. My body often expresses that which I may not be consciously aware of. The knot, was a symbol of the importance of this new beginning. I am aware that I’ve longed for a person outside of my daily life who will be my companion and guide into deep spiritual questions and concerns. I’ve felt that same knot in my stomach as I’ve written sermons, when I’m struck by the profound nature of a particular moment with congregants, and when something is amiss that needs repair.
The theme for this month is abundance. Scott Sammler-Michael names how he was “saved” by Unitarian Universalism and the transformative power of love. However, “unconditional, redemptive love” does not come easily. I know that I, and many of you, struggle with being quick to judge, to push others away. This gets in the way of searching for deeper understanding of myself and others. An abundant love may not change our initial reactive response, but it can open us to more compassionate and curious relationships—where rough edges soften and every person’s inherent worth and dignity is called into the center.
Take a moment and reread the list that Scott uses to describe what is offered by Unitarian Universalism. What is listed is both real and aspirational. All of the offerings have value for individuals and faith communities. All of these offerings are available if we are open to change and growth throughout our lifetimes.
Are you working toward a more abundant love and faith in your life? How does that impact your way of being a part of this MSUS community? What would it mean to truly live into an unconditional, redemptive love where we, who are beautiful and flawed, can continue to grow into a beloved community? Ideally, we are constantly working toward a greater generosity of being. My prayer is that this place and it's people continue to offer us what we need and inspire us to flourish throughout the moments of our lives.