We're all guilty of working too hard in the wrong direction occasionally. In reviewing the sermons I've preached over the last few weeks, I've thought that perhaps I'm doing too much lecturing on our calling as the church of the 21st century. It's necessary and even helpful lecturing, to be sure, but there's not a lot of gospel to be found in defining what it means to be a forgiving church in a culture that doesn't value or understand forgiveness. Frankly, I've been demanding a lot, and while we do need the occasional challenge from the pulpit (even when you don't use a pulpit), the last thing students need at the four week point of the semester is more lectures.
So - tonight will be reflective. A reading from First John on love. A very brief give and take on one question: how do you feel or imagine God's love for you? What is it like? Then a time of meditation using one of my favorite hymns, Ubi Caritas et Amor, a motet composed by Maurice Durufle (yes, you've seen it before here, but it's so beautiful I thought I'd use it again). There is so little time for these students to be in a place where they are simply valued for who they are - another lecture won't suffice. Thus, time for peace, for love, for community. It might be sappy as hell, but that's okay - I've been accused of worse.
And, as always, friends, peace be upon you also.