In the first class of the First Church Journey to Membership series, I ask our new members to close their eyes and remember a time when they felt fully, deeply, and unconditionally loved. If they can’t remember a time, then I ask them to imagine feeling that way. Each new member has some time to reflect individually, and then they share their stories with one another. At the end of the session, I ask them to complete the sentence: Love is always _______.
The sentences they come up with are always beautiful, and often surprising, from “Love is always needed” to “Love is always vulnerable” to “Love is always powerful” to ‘”Love is always present.” In class, we make meaning of our experiences and then create a truth statement about how the world works: we create theology.
For Unitarian Universalists, the word we most often use interchangeably with God is the word “Love.” The theology underneath that exchange is complicated and collectively created. Sometimes the truth we create together is that Love is the most powerful force in the universe, and sometimes it is that Love makes us vulnerable. Sometimes we wrest theology from suffering and declare that Love holds the world together. Sometimes we even discover that Love can save us.
Each of us has our own lens into the meaning of Love in the world, and together we create a kaleidoscope of beauty and theology. Love connects us, holds us, and sends us forth in the process.
Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Senior Minister