01/18/15 Rev. James Trapp
The Beloved Communty
Today’s headlines are the world’s prayer requests—what we need to pray for. They are evolutionary spiritual triggers to move us from where we are to where we want to be. “Invading armies can be resisted,” according to Victor Hugo, “but not an idea whose time has come.” Then, one person can have an idea that changes the world.
Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat and was arrested. So Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. led a 381 day peaceful boycott of the bus company. It sparked a movement that spread around the world. We each have a compelling mission. We all pray for relief from our nagging problems. And then, we say, will we be able to live a better life of giving and love. But we have it backwards. Our mission is to expand our world, our vision, and then our problems will fade to the nothingness from which they came.
Dr. King’s vision was of all people living and working together. Activist Reverend James Lawson called this the Beloved Community. All the great spiritual teachers have taught that this Beloved Community is in the eye of Spirit and we must live it in our hearts. Astronauts tell us they have an epiphany when they see the earth from above: without any map lines, separations among us are false.
It’s easy to love all of humanity, but it’s not so easy loving that particular one that’s on your last nerve. Jesus said we are to love the one “in front of us”. We need to see with new eyes. We must use our imagination to put ourselves in the shoes of another and put our loving into practice, not just intend to. Toleration is a start, but move to appreciation and embracing. Move beyond your barriers. “Turn the other cheek”, which means that when someone gives us one form of energy, we are to return a different form of energy, like forgiveness, love, and compassion. That takes strength. Returning the same energy does not take strength.
A lady, returning to her airplane seat, found the man beside her eating her cookies. She was angry and helped herself to “her own cookies”. Then she realized she was in the wrong seat! She apologized for her behavior, but the man said that he has learned that “when in doubt, share!” Our true theology is what we do, what we put into practice. To forgive “someday” is just a delaying tactic of the mind. Go within; pray. Bring in a higher energy. It affects all people. We are all connected. Stop seeing differences; see the beauty in others. See the many variations of infinite Spirit, which needs variety to express Its infinitude. See the wholeness and unity. Bring in the brotherhood, the Blessed Community. The time is now; the place is where you are. Peace. God bless you!