LOVE IS INDEED THE WAY by Rector Chris Girata
LOVE IS INDEED THE WAY was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, October 23, 2020
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
Holding on to hope is an important idea. Bishop Curry says that he wrote his recent book as a response to questions he’s received over the years from people wondering if love can really work as a way of life. Yes, we might all like the idea of love, we might even wish to honor the idea of loving our neighbor, but when the rubber hits the road, what does love look like and how does love function in the world?
We are made for hope.
Right now, we are in the middle of a presidential election that has taken over the airwaves, and in many ways has sucked the air out of every space we inhabit. It seems like everywhere I go and any news story I read has to do with the election. Unfortunately, this election looks much like the last one, with people on both sides and in between acting ugly. The ugliness we witness can be unsettling at best, and at worst, can be dangerous for us all.
Bishop Curry asked an important question: “Will we live in a society that is marked by chaos, or will we live in a society that is marked by human community?” The world often feels more like chaos to me. There is an amazing number of untruths swirling around us and we can feel like we’re drowning in the mess. And yet, whenever I catch a glimpse of community, or real, honest relationships, I find hope.
Celebrate who you are and strive to love your neighbor as you do.
We are made for hope. We are made for relationships with others that enrich and fulfill us. That fulfillment comes not from agreement, but from love. Most of the time, I find that I don’t agree with everyone around me, but I do cherish the relationships. My best friends and I argue and debate constantly over ideas that really matter, and yet, I love them, and they love me. Far too many of us have fallen away from relationships because of disagreement, when what we really need isn’t agreement, but love.
In the interview, Bishop Curry quotes Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “We will learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we will perish together as fools.” Total autonomy is a dangerous lie that people seem to be spreading these days. Groups are attempting to cohere around a very specific set of beliefs over and against other groups. Yet what Dr. King preached was a unity that exists beyond ourselves. Out of our humility, out of our imperfection, we can form a beloved community where all are honored, all are safe and all are loved.
My friends, we may not know one another, but I know you are loved. I know you are loved through your goodness and through your imperfections. You are wonderfully and beautifully made, as is every other person. Celebrate who you are and strive to love your neighbor as you do. This week, this month, this year and beyond, we are being called into a life of community, not chaos. We are being called into a life grounded in and defined by love. I have hope that you will answer that call with me, and that we can begin to change our world for the good.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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