February 06, 2010

Affirming Words 2/6/10-"What To Want"

This is the transcript of a sermon given by Lucia Lloyd from St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Heathsville, VA via GayChurch.org:

There are a few people who, even while they are being killed, pray that God will forgive those who are killing them. Jesus does this, and so does St. Stephen, our own patron saint. Forgiveness is the ultimate destination for all of us. We do not know exactly what heaven will be like. But a place in which there are no tears and no pain is a place in which the heavenly souls no longer hold on to anger, and anger has no hold on them anymore. Those who are in heaven now have already forgiven everyone who has hurt them. They are free. Would they want us to be free too?

I expect that the true answer to the question, “what do you wish for?” is “freedom.” It is the freedom that comes when we look honestly and unflinchingly at the pain of the past, to determine how much the other person has actually harmed us, and how much of the pain we feel actually comes from our thoughts about that person, and whether our thoughts continue to cause us pain long after the other person has stopped doing anything. We can ask ourselves whether the things the other person has said are true. Sometimes our friends won’t tell us the truth about ourselves, but our enemies will. We can learn from Herodias’s example that if there is any truth about what another person has said about us, we can learn from that and make our lives better. We can learn from Salome’s example that even the people we think should love us, do not always say things that are true. And if we find that the things the other person has said about us are not true, we can consider whether the real problem is our own thoughts about the person, and how we would feel if we didn’t have those thoughts. We can recognize that we live in a fallen world in which not everyone approves of us or accepts us, or even loves us. And in the end, that is okay.
Click here to read the rest of the sermon.

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