The Different Drummer - February 2010
Musings from the Minister
National Standing on the Side of Love Day, or Valentine's Day Re-imagined is simply about the power of love to stop oppression. Valentine's day for most people is a trendy, overly commercialized day. Valentine's day for children is all about candy and cards. What would happen if all people of faith decided to reclaim Valentine's day as a day of faith-based action? Instead of going out for fancy dinners in expensive restaurants, what if we all committed to making sure that every person young or old, tall or short, skinny or heavy had a real, healthy, body nourishing, soul satisfying meal....wouldn't that be a radical act of love?
A radical re-imagining of Valentine's day helps us to come back to the reality that romantic love is far from the only kind of love that one can celebrate. If truth be told, romantic love is one of the least common, and least worthy of celebration of all the types of love around. Think about it: love between a child and a parent is an impenetrable and undying form of unconditional love . Love between an animal and a human, another type of unconditional love, too often gets forgotten. The love between family members, and close friends (whom I refer to as families of choice)—these are loves worthy of celebration.
Of course, there are the rare loves that last for decades, but in a world where divorce is common, and abuse of loved ones happens, it seems shallow to lift romantic love up over love for our fellow human beings, or for all living creatures, or even for the world in which we live.
The most radical teachings of every faith and every great religious master include love, yet none of them focused on romantic love. As people of faith, the time has come to reclaim Valentine's Day as an opportunity to serve the wider world. Let us come together on February 14th and celebrate the radical call to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to reach out in love to help end oppression. This is not an event unto itself. It is the beginning, the launch of a radical and revolutionary mission to Stand on the Side of Love for All, and let it begin with me, and you!
See you in church!
Rev. Julie-Ann Silberman-Bunn