There are lessons that we have to learn over and over again. Many of them aren’t all that hard, but they don’t take the first, second or seventh or eighth time. Some of those lessons we never get completely right, or forget too easily and shake our heads when we learn them again and again.
I’m reminded of the story of the town where the sabbath was said the be the very sweetest when a certain rabbi was alive. A seeker came to find out, but got no answers until he found a woman who had worked in the rabbi’s home. When asked about it, she fell into memory, and could only note that as they worked in the kitchen the rabbi would have to come to remind them. In the midst of the business and the rush of preparation, they’d forget, she said, but the rabbi would remind them. The seeker finally cried out, “remind you of what?” “He would remind us to forgive each other, and then the Sabbath would begin, so sweet.”
We are in a time of rushing around, even though seemingly at rest and in separation. What we need to remember in this time is to love each other in all the ways that we can do that – by the distance we keep, the acts of kindness.
Someone remarked in the past few days that in the days following 9/11, there was a kindness and community that was remarkable, but in the years since, it has faded away. She celebrated that we’re seeing some of that kindness and love emerging now – neighbors checking in on each other, the commitment of our medical professionals who are at risk themselves to save the rest of us, an awareness of how deeply we are interconnected. And then she lamented that we will forget again, quick as a breath, and fall back into our own personal dramas, our grudges, our small lives.
The veil has been pulled back in this time of global crisis, and we see agape love emerging again. Not everywhere and not everyone, that’s certain. You are invited to drink in this lesson deeply, and to hold tight to it. We belong to each other, everyone and everywhere. Inasmuch as we can give to each other, we receive. Each week at TUUC we sing “from you I receive, to you I give, together we share and from this we live.” May it remind us as we move through this time of crisis, forever, world without end.