We come to church bearing the troubles and fears of the world. So it was this past week as we prayed for the people of Paris – and persons everywhere affected by incomprehensible violence. In faith communities these things can be held, we can be held, as we seek meaning and hope. The greatest Good News in the face of fear and uncertainty is this: God is present and Love wins. Love has not been wiped out; it never will be. There is no war, bigotry, holocaust, terrorism, or natural disaster that has managed to wipe out the power of human love. It has always found its way through the greatest hurts and disappointments, the worst pain, the deepest loss. Communities learn to love more after coming face to face with their own bigotry. People learn to live with the intentional love of those they’ve lost in wars and terror attacks.
Some say Love conquers all; that Love is stronger than hate. It is, but the opposite of Love is not hate, it is fear. And Love has proven itself the antidote and winner over fear again and again. Some people do evil in the world. I did not say they are evil – we can’t know that – but they do evil. It’s also true that there are deeply good, loving, caring people everywhere. Their job – our job – is to fight the fear of evil. Love survives. The Love of God has never fallen before the forces of dramatic times, real or imagined. And the Love of God refuses to be distorted by fear-mongers who condemn unbelievers to a forever-hell. Dramas and disasters burn in our memories, and they change us. But Love still exists, and it is Love that defines us.
Peace and grace,