Nov. 27, 2017.

By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller.

Rumi says, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

Overlooking the possible debate on the meaning of the word soul, just for the purposes of this blog, let’s say the soul is the deepest place of connection in you to your absolute best and most-grounded self. Can you imagine what it would be like to be connected to your most loving, most forgiving, most open and most compassionate self? Can you envision what joy there would be in the world if we all came from a deep connection to the soul, a soul that saw us move through the world always answering the question, “What is the most loving thing I can do right now,” and actually always doing that most loving thing? That is not easy, and even more challenging in a world with so many experiencing sorrow and craving, crying and yearning for this joyful connection.

As is our practice now the first Sunday in December, we will hold the Joy Service. And this is not just fun and silliness. It’s also an intentional reminder of our need and ability to face our sorrow and experience joy in community. This time of joy during worship is an opportunity to practice communal joy, connecting to a place of deep soul, a place where we live when feeling a sense of love, laughter and connection. It is a time for us to do this work of the soul, an opportunity to feel that deep sense of joy. A joy that comes from saying, “I really did something today where I intentionally resisted the forces of sorrow.” These times are calling for us to connect to our souls and let the river of joy come forth.

There will be sorrow, some are feeling much sorrow in these times. Others will be going through times of sorrow as a natural part of the ebb and flow of life. But Rumi also said, “Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”

This Sunday, let us shake sorrow from our hearts and collectively join together in joy. Just as a footnote, you are invited to do this in costume if you wish and there might be some Stars Wars themes in the service. Remember, when you feel joy, the force will be with you, always.