Recently an organizer asked for a meeting and I went to pull out my phone to check my calendar. “My calendar is the boss of me,” I joked. She looked at me oddly, but said nothing. And in that nothing I heard the strangeness, the madness of what I had just said.
I am not sure what she was thinking, but here is what I have been thinking since that awkward moment. A calendar serves as the representation of and reminder about the commitments I have made for and with my life energy, with my love. Just as a glance at your checkbook or credit card statement can give you insight into where you commit your financial energy, a calendar can be a window of insight into life values.
What a calendar probably should not be, and should not be thought of as, is the boss. Just as my checkbook and my credit card – while requiring true mindfulness – should not be the boss of me. I do not serve as a minister in the name of a calendar or a bank account. Those are important tools for sustaining my ministry, no doubt. They cannot be the source of my call.
I serve in the name of love. Love for the world that is and the world that can be. Love for the wonder of creation and respect of destruction. Love for a faith community that meets us where we are and doesn’t leave us there. Love for you. Love for me.
It is easy in the days of overloaded calendars and underloaded bank accounts to forget. And it absolutely matters that we remember.
In 1951, Universalist mister Albert Ziegler wrote: “It may be that we have lost sight of our mission. Primarily, the church is not for social or political pronouncements, nor for the fashioning and dissemination of erudite philosophical doctrines. It is for the generation of love. The church is the only institution in society so purposed. We strike at the heart of our very purpose for existence when we neglect that major aim.”
Our Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations will be gathering in Providence, Rhode Island beginning June 25th for General Assembly, the annual meeting of UUs from around the world, with the theme “Love Reaches Out,” inviting congregations to reach out beyond their walls and to engage in new ways of sharing faith.
In the free church tradition of Unitarian Universalism, “we do not just go to church, we are the church.” Beloved, this faith is called to live in the name of love. Let us commit ourselves anew to this call. In the immortal words of poet Maya Angelou, “I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.”