Love Thy Neighbor Rally

Thursday evening, July 21st, in response to the tragedies of the past weeks and more Lynnwood held a Love Thy Neighbor Rally. The Mayor and Chief of Police both spoke eloquently and with great compassion – as did the President of the county NAACP, and as did several clergy. I was privileged to give the benediction.

Benediction

I serve a small church – Living Interfaith. Our members are Buddhist, Christian, Baha’i, Muslim, Pagan, Jewish, Humanist and a few “not really sure yets.” We come together not to convert or convince but to share our holy days and our sacred selves with one another. In part, it is our way of lighting a candle in the darkness and holding high “Love thy neighbor” as our common commitment – not simply our belief, but our commitment. A part of that commitment embraces that “neighbor” holds no color or profession. … Outside, anger and fear seem ascendant. Here we ask, “What can we do?”

Fifty years ago, I was not only much younger, but the Civil Rights Movement was in full bloom. The Civil Rights Act was a mere two years old. And one of the great heroes of my life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was giving voice to non-violent change. Much has happened in fifty years … and much has not happened. We have yet to have a true national dialogue about race and racism. I truly believe that for the first time since Dr. King was so maliciously taken from us we have that opportunity now – born out of tragedy, but not still-born. It is for us to nurture that opportunity. It’s begun on Facebook – a national dialogue! It seems to me that our job is not to leave it there. I hope that our coming together this evening has truly been a part of that beginning, a part not of papering over but of truly coming together in love and respect … to heal. As we leave, may we hold that resolve in our hearts. Let us pray.

Bring us together.
We walk this one world
In different worlds.
Bring us together.

Help us see each other.
We tend to see what we expect,
Even when what we expect has fled.
Help us see each other.

May we embrace our common humanity,
And acknowledge that we are all connected.
May we embrace the compassion and love
That supports and nurtures our human community.

May we forgive, and be forgiven.
May we be accepting, and accepted.
May we be free from hunger and want,
As we strive to free our brothers and sisters from hunger and want.

May we always remember that
We are blessed by our blessing.
May we walk the sacred path of love,
By whatever branch best guides us,
All the days of our lives.

May peace find a welcoming home in our hearts.
May love of neighbor envelop us and flow through us in all that we embrace and all that we do.
May we be beacons of compassion and understanding.
And may we always remember that only a diversity of beacons can bring sufficient light to our paths to show us the way.

Go in peace. Go in love. Go in light.

Amen.

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