Meditation - Commitment Sunday

Meditation by Rev. Diane Rollert, 18 January 2015

We Come for Love

This is at the heart of it:
We come looking for love.
We come looking for belonging.
Sometimes we tell ourselves it’s something else.
We like the preacher’s jokes.
We like the coffee.
We crave the intellectual stimulation.
We have one more candle to light,
one more social cause to fight.
All these needs are valid,
but they only begin to tell the story.

Why get out of bed
on a cold Sunday morning
as cold as this
as white and snowy and silent?
Hardly a soul walking
along the city streets.
Later the city will meet
in restaurants for brunch
but we’ll be here
sitting in silence,
listening to music,
and stories told from the heart.

These days
there’s no real reason to go to church,
no social stigma for staying home,
no need to raise our children
with religious education.
The schools will do something with that —
even if it’s taught by someone
who has no experience
with the sacred.
But we’ll be freed from the responsibility
of trying to answer questions
that make us uncomfortable.

Yet here we are,
with our babies and our grandchildren,
with our growling stomachs
and our own questioning,
with our seeking hearts,
and our hope for some brighter future,
some bolder legacy to leave behind
that reaches beyond our singular lives
and says that community can be built,
can matter,
can change our lives.

It isn’t easy.
We speak using words that can be hard to understand.
Sometimes we revere the holy,
sometimes we prefer the rational,
sometimes we find language constricting,
and long to sing,
to hug,
to touch,
to watch the flame of candlelight shine
in someone else’s eyes.

We can come seeking harmony
and be surprised when we encounter dissonance.
We can come seeking dissonance
and be surprised when we encounter harmony.
We can come searching for the perfect, beloved community
and be disappointed to find
that we are a community of humans and not saints.
We make mistakes.
Some days we fail each other.
But then there are the days,
when we sit at the bedside of someone dying,
when we bring soup to the new mother,
when we lend a hand to someone who has lost their job,
when we hang banners and march for justice together,
when we bear witness to someone’s story
and find ourselves changed in the process.
We learn,
we grow,
we forgive.

Hope comes in the constant learning and retrying,
in the building and rebuilding,
in the dreaming and in the reaching
beyond what we are.
We come here for so many reasons.
We come with our own stories to share,
and at the heart,
at the centre of it all,
we come longing to belong,
to be held together in something greater that ourselves.
We come for love.