Showing posts from September, 2012

The Opposite of Love -- Sermon 9/30/12

Exodus 7:3  God is speaking:  “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.”
Elie Wiesel at the 1989 Bucknell University commencement:
One of my mottos has been that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
That means the opposite of education is not ignorance, it is indifference.
The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, but indifference.
The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. Indifference to life and death.
So whatever you do in your life, indifference is never an option.
Indifference is never the beginning of a process, it is the end of a process.

The Opposite of Love

Eli Wiesel says that the opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference.  The point is that hate is another kind of deep engagement with another person; it runs close to love, but on another track.  
And as you know, I have been thinking a lot about love, all of the ways that we think of love, all of the meanings that we put on that word.  

Dreams of Flight

I have often dreamed that I could fly.  Not like Superman at high altitudes and over long distances, but a much more convenient form of flying.  I can zoom around a few feet off the ground, maybe as high twenty feet or so.  Sometimes, I have to kind of  touch the ground and run a little to propel myself back into the air.  I don’t have to flap my arms, but it helps sometimes to swim with them through the air, especially on an acceleration.  There are no wings involved.  I'm not angel, just me who can fly.
Flying is exhilarating.  It’s wonderful, everything you would imagine it to be; fun, freeing.  I frolic in the air.  I zoom everywhere and do flips and turns and loops.  These dreams of flying are very happy dreams. 
In the dream, I am usually remembering that I can fly, as though I had forgotten, but something brought it back to me.  And I am usually trying to explain to someone else that they might be able to fly too, and how I do it.  
I do it just as you might expect.  I just pl…

Rights and Power; Life and Death September 16

On the November 6th ballot this year, here in Massachusetts, there will be a measure to permit physician assisted suicide.   
According to the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, the Act would allow terminally-ill adults with six months or less to live to receive and self-administer a prescription for life-ending medication. To qualify, a patient would have to be an adult resident of Massachusetts who is "medically determined to be mentally capable of making and communicating health care decisions; has been diagnosed by attending and consult physicians as having an incurable, irreversible disease that will, within reasonable medical judgment, cause death within six months; and voluntarily expresses a wish to die and has made an informed decision."
Doctors would be required to inform patients about other end-of-life care options, including palliative care, pain management, and hospice care. Two physicians must verify the mental competence of the terminally ill patient…

A Nameless Way of Living

Poem By Muriel Rukeyser
I lived in the first century of world wars. Most mornings I would be more or less insane, The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories, The news would pour out of various devices Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen. I would call my friends on other devices; They would be more or less mad for similar reasons. Slowly I would get to pen and paper, Make my poems for others unseen and unborn. In the day I would be reminded of those men and women, Brave, setting up signals across vast distances, Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values. As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened, We would try to imagine them, try to find each other, To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other, Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves, To let go the means, to wake.
I lived in the first century of these wars.
'In t…