Practicing Love…in tough situations
Sun Tzu famously wrote a book called The Art of War in the fifth century B.C.E. – during the time the empire of Persia dominated the biblical world. Su Tzu’s writings have influenced the strategies of warfare ever since.
Jesus came along 500 years later and lived a life of profound and generous love. The Gospels and traditions of Jesus could be called The Art of Love. The Jesus tradition has taught the practice of love ever since. Some have learned well; most of us still have a lot of learning to do.
That’s why we at St. Dunstan’s are exploring the practice of love this Fall. In sermons, writings, and study groups, we are getting very specific about challenges and strategies of practicing love in very common human situations. Last Sunday, congregants suggested many such situations where practicing love is difficult:
- With my adult children
- When listening, without jumping to problem-solving mode
- With people who engage in bad behavior
- With people I don’t know – on the street, in a shop, in traffic
- With people begging by the roadside.
- In my prayer life, with God
- With difficult colleagues at work
- With people at church who think differently
- When I’ve been hurt by somebody
- In online situations (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- With my money, my checkbook
I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll try to address these situations in sermons, using Jesus’ teaching as a guide. This Sunday, September 4, I’ll start the list, and talk about practicing love with our family members – some of whom may not be very lovable. We’ll talk about dealing with children (all ages!), elderly parents, interfering in-laws, and manipulative kin. I hope you’ll join in worship at 10:45 a.m. Please email me if you have specific comments/questions to explore. JBM