21st Sunday Reflection: Taking A Chance On Love
Taking A Chance On Love – John 6:60-69 –
First comes love. But how can I love without knowing… the person… the truth of who they are… will this relationship last, or even be good for me?
As we investigate the world we discover that every person experiences love differently, their definitions of love vary, just as the depth of each person’s love does. Only when we begin to understand what having that person in our life means to us, are we capable of loving someone in the fullest sense. Not until we experience the pain of not having this person with us, do we come to understand how deep our need is for that person.
God is Love and the heartbeat of this Love resounds through creation. ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life in the Age. We have both trusted and known that you are the holy one of God.’
It must begin with trust; trusting in order to know. Had we wanted first to know and then to believe, we could never have been able to believe. Coming to believe and coming to know is a process that begins with trusting enough and ends with understanding enough. Falling in Love rarely begins with that deep knowledge that is the bedrock of true Love. As the refrain goes, ‘we take a chance on love’.
The seeker just has to ‘believe enough’ because, at this stage, they do not ‘know enough’. Spiritual development within a faith tradition often walks this path from belief to understanding. We may think that faith is the desired goal, that strong faith is an exercise of the will that fiercely holds on to what it cannot understand, yet, faith is only the first step. We have to find the larger consciousness to which we will apprentice ourselves. We have to begin in humble trust and believe in that consciousness long enough to learn from it.
Once understanding begins and grows, the external supports for belief are still appreciated, but they are no longer primary. If the consciousness is aligned with Love, if the Bread is true, if the ‘flesh and Blood’ is nourishment, then life flows in us. We have come not only to believe but to know, and we stay because eternal life is flowing.
On that day many turned away as Jesus spoke the Words of Life. For them, that first step in belief was just a step too far outside their frame of reference, beyond their comfort zone.
There are many today who do not know the truth and beauty of the gospel. But perhaps there is a far greater number who call themselves followers of Christ’s Way, yet follow the route of another philosophy that cannot be found in the eyes of love.
Our choice today will form our identity; are we to be children of the kingdom of God, or do we choose to be children of the world. The apostles and the Saints have been given to us as the foundation of our hope so that we also can only say, ‘Where shall we go O’ Lord, for you have the words of eternal life?’ These are the words that bring us to freedom to become that for which we were made; by love, out of love, to love, and at the final point, to become love; to become one with Love.
Taking a chance on Love, we say, ‘Yes Jesus, we also have trusted and come to know that you are our every day God… You are the God of Beauty and order who subdues destruction and chaos; You are the God of Light who overcomes darkness, deceit and decay; You are the God of Mercy who heals, restores and lifts up the lowly; You are God of Life who has defeated death.
EVERYDAY GOD (Bernadette Farrell)
Earth’s creator, Everyday God,
Loving Maker, O Jesus,
You who shaped us, O Spirit,
Recreate us, Come, be with us.
In your presence, Everyday God,
We are gathered, O Jesus,
You have called us, O Spirit,
To restore us, Come, be with us.
Life of all lives, Everyday God,
Love of all loves, O Jesus,
Hope of all hopes, O Spirit,
Light of all lights, Come, be with us.
In our resting, Everyday God,
In our rising, O Jesus,
In our hoping, O Spirit,
In our waiting, Come, be with us.
In our dreaming, Everyday God,
In our daring, O Jesus,
In our searching, O Spirit,
In our sharing, Come, be with us.
God of laughter, Everyday God,
God of sorrow, O Jesus,
Home and shelter, O Spirit,
Strong and patient, Come, be with us.
Way of freedom, Everyday God,
Star of morning, O Jesus,
Timeless healer, O Spirit,
Flame eternal, Come, be with us.
Word of gladness, Everyday God,
Word of mercy, O Jesus,
Word of friendship, O Spirit,
Word of challenge, Come, be with us.
Gentle father, Everyday God,
Faithful brother, O Jesus,
Tender sister, O Spirit.
Loving mother, Come, be with us.
Our beginning, Everyday God,
Our unfolding, O Jesus,
Our enduring, O Spirit,
Journey’s ending, Come, be with us.
Alleluia, Everyday God,
Now and always, O Jesus,
Alleluia, O Spirit,
Through all ages, Come, be with us.