January 22, 2012
Rev. Dr. Matt Tittle
In this passage, Jesus simply calls others to believe in the good news, and they willingly drop what their doing, even leaving behind their families and livelihoods for a chance at experiencing the coming Kingdom of God. I’ve rarely had such success in my ministry. My calls to action and service are met with constant “whys” and “hows” and “wheres” at best, and plenty of “don’t want tos” or can’ts” at worst.
Too often I hear Unitarian Universalists say things like,
“It’s not that easy.”
“We don’t have Jesus or the Bible.”
“We don’t have the threat of hell or the promise of heaven.”
“We don’t have a saving message or good news.”
I don’t agree. It is that easy. We do have Jesus and the Bible as sources of our living tradition. We can create heaven or hell here on earth. Our faith does change and even save lives. Unitarian Universalism has so much good news to share.
Good news that you have inherent worth just as you are, not as someone else would have you be.
Good news that human goodness and restoration can and will triumph over human evil and destruction.
Good news that you are free to choose your beliefs based on human reason and your inner spirit.
Good news that you don't have to check your doubt at the door and pretend to believe in a single truth that does not speak to you.
Good news that you are not alone in this vast, indifferent, and yet miraculous universe.
Good news that someone in your church, if nowhere else, loves you and will care for you in the best of times and worst of times.
Good news that you have a spiritual home that comforts and cares, challenges and stimulates you.
Our saving message is that you are loved just as you are. That you are valued for who you are.
Our saving message is that in this beloved community you can face the unavoidable reality of all that is tragic in life, and still maintain the also realistic hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
Our saving message is that the human condition is ultimately good, even though it doesn't always seem that way.
Our saving message is that you can always lay your burden down here and look deep within yourself and beyond yourself for the truth that will set you free.
Dear God. Save us from the intense pain and suffering that are a natural part of life. Not to be immune from pain and suffering, but to know we can endure and overcome suffering again and again and again. Help us to have faith and share our good news.