Life and Love Abundant
Megan Lloyd Joiner
Salt Lake City
As a recent seminary graduate, I was thrilled to join the Standing on the Side of Love team at the 2009 UU General Assembly. Last week, I participated in a conference call briefing from rain-soaked New York City. On my way to another meeting, I sat in my car on a bridge overlooking the Hudson River and listened to Meg Riley and Adam Gerhardstein outline the power and potential of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign now being launched here in sunny Salt Lake City. I was blown away.
When we ground our social witness, our spiritual and political practice, and our ethical action in our theological imperative—to love all people and profess the unity of all being—we become relevant in a world desperately seeking the voices of Unitarian Universalists and people of faith of all denominations who proclaim that love, not hate, guides us in all we do.
There has been much talk of prophets during my journey to and sojourn here in Salt Lake City. The prophets of the Hebrew Bible tell us that without vision, the people perish. Joseph Smith, proclaimed prophet of the Mormon Church, strove for a renewal of Christian life that was founded in the love of God, a love that would bring people peace. Standing on the Side of Love is our vision; Living on the Side of Love is our peace.
This morning, Rabbi Sandy Sasso, author of God’s Paintbrush, told a story about another Salt Lake:
There are two lakes in the land of Israel, the Rabbis say. One is filled with fish; water flows in and out. Life is abundant. The other is salty, stagnant. Water flows in, but not out. No fish swim there; there is no life of any kind. This second lake is known as the Dead Sea. There are two lakes in the land of Israel, these prophets tell us. There are two kinds of people in the world.
Now, I believe that there are many more than two kinds of people in the world. But I do know what it means to be stagnant. I know what it means to have love flow into my being and not have the energy, the time, or the courage to let anything flow out. And, blessedly, I know what it means to truly be alive. To live and love abundantly means that we are motivated by the deepest love imaginable. It means living out—every day, every moment—our understanding of each human being as sacred, that we are called to witness to our cherished belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all souls. We are called to let Life and Love flow through us. This is a sacred challenge.
Living abundantly means to Stand of the Side of Love. This campaign is the beginning of something big. Now is the time for people of faith, committed to Love above all else, to ground our action, our social justice work, our very lives, in a theological message of love and hope for all people. I am enthusiastically on board. Won’t you Join us on the Side of Love?