Monday, June 02, 2008

Sermon recommends crafting life as work of art

On May 18, 2008, Davidson Loehr delivered the sermon, "Life as a Work of Art" at the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Austin in Texas. Loehr quotes the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin passage that opens Thomas Moore’s A Life at Work, and he refers to Moore’s book at the beginning of the sermon. Loehr then suggests,
"If I were an old-fashioned preacher talking in old-fashioned ways, this is when I could say, "Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus and be saved!" I think very few people here think or talk that way, but there can be a powerful kind of truth to that Come-to-Jesus invitation. It means, "Recast your life as a beloved part of a larger reality, as a child of God rather than just one more lost person stumbling through life. Then it can be about the larger you precisely because it’s no longer primarily about you, but about your part in a bigger story, a transcendent scheme. You’re no longer just doing the kind of fairly menial work we all do; your work has now become part of the plan of the creator of the universe. So come to Jesus, and be saved!" There’s both poetry and power there.

What’s right about it is that we need to be able to cast our lives as parts of a bigger and more enduring story than just making it through another day. But we have to try to say it in less parochial terms today."
Loehr describes two significant events in his own life that helped him to understand his life story and concludes with a focus on story telling, another prominent theme in Moore’s book:
"And what about you? After all, that’s the point of all this. How would you describe your life? In ways that make you seem isolated and small, or in ways that connect you with a life force that transcends, empowers, and commands you? Are you just insignificant little you, or are you one of the masks of God, an incarnation of holy spirits, a small but significant part of a cause, a belief, an ideal that is timeless and incredibly necessary? Sweeping the floor, or building a magnificent cathedral to the greater glory of God? Putting a few bucks in the collection plate here, or becoming the church rather than merely attending it? It’s your choice. I’d like you to discuss these things this week with your friends, your family, somewhere you can feel safe and won’t get put down for dreaming. You can choose the story of which your life is a part, whether small or large, and that choice makes all the difference in recasting your life as a work of art."

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