Sunday, October 19, 2014

What I said at the opening of the Maitreya Loving Kindness Toiur


Pastor Brashear at the Maitrya Loving Kindness Tour

It is a joy and honor to be with you here this evening for this exhibit and tour, this night, dedicated to loving kindness.

It is pretty generally known that in my tradition, when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he responded, 
 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment . And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
But I have two other passages I would like to share with you this evening. The first is one that is extremely important to me in my own life:
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

This tells us first of all that justice and mercy are inextricable from one another, They must always go together. And as Thomas Aquinas reminded us, mercy without justice is powerless but justice without mercy is cruelty. We must always hold the two together.

The walking humbly is also an essential  part. As we understand ourselves as creatures, part of creation, we can only be humble. It leads to what Jonathan Edwards called benevolence to all being. And as we walk humbly in relation to creation, justice and mercy are easier expressions of that humility.

Finally, another bottom line verse from the first letter of John 4:7:
 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

For all of us, the ultimate truth is behind a door. Occasionally that door opens and we get glimpses, but we see is only that and nothing more. We use our own languages to describe what we have seen and build our institutional structures based on that language.

The error is when we mistake our expressions of what we have seen as the whole and exclusive truth, superior to others. The fact of the matter is, we need to share with one another our own particular insights in order to even begin to come closer to the whole vision. And as we are human, it will always be partial.

So we must walk humbly with one another and out of that humility learn to love one another.

The deepest purpose of this tour and this evening is the opportunity to further the experience, the reality of loving kindness in the world we share.

And for the opportunity to share these thoughts with you this evening, and in this experience, I am profoundly thankful.

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