Compline service: ending the day- saying good night in a peaceful and contemplative way. I love this type of service and my mom suggested we attend Sunday night in Savannah, GA. The church was small, painted white, and smelled of a comfortable old book. The candles were lit, shimmering low in the soft shadowy darkness. My thoughts relaxed as did my body. Sharing this quiet moment with my mother was like a warm hug.
The pastor/rector/preacher (not sure of his title) spoke to orient the group. We were left to enjoy the choir chants and brief prayers. As the singing ended, the leader spoke words that broke my peace. The words surrounded the story of Paul – and the story was told to express how God loves us no matter what. That this love is undividable by time, space or circumstances. EXCEPT THERE IS A CATCH: There is a small print disclaimer-he noted that this complete and unchecked love is granted to those who have found God through Jesus Christ. This love is not given to those who follow God but don’t feel the need to go through a third party to connect. It is AVAILABLE to all IF you want to go through Jesus. In this man’s universe, there is a line between complete love and everything else and unless you have Jesus on your side of the line, love will be lacking. No thanks.
I’ll stick with my higher power, my connection to the universe and its unwavering love and support. I would not want the brand of God (higher power) love that is conditional. Why create a hurdle to nirvana? Who made this hurdle? Why would it exist? How can you contain or control something that is that utterly powerful, clean and universal? It is like trying to handle the sun or make time stand still.
I respect those who feel the love of Jesus Christ and value the guidance he offers. I would never want to get in the way of a belief system that is meant to make a person better for themselves and for others.
I thought about being off put (and at first I was- I will admit) then realized my own beliefs are importantly held and may seem foreign to others. Don’t I ask others to give me room? I was at an away game- the leader was expressing the values of the people who choose to congregate there day in and day out.
The whole experience became a check point reminder for me to live and let live, to embrace our differences because this promotes thought and interest. At the end of the day (and time), we all want the same thing: True and undivided love and acceptance. Many roads- one ending. I’ll see you there, even if we don’t travel the same road.
Hugs and love