from Chaplain Royal
Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and for those that celebrate, Happy Christmas Eve. I hope you are well. This message is shared each Sunday, it is my hope that you will find something to lift you, help you, or lighten your journey.

We are rich people, some even have money. We are runners, walkers, swimmers, and those that wish they did. We are people who sing out loud and proud, and some even sound good. We are people who are young, and young at heart.

You’re welcome here if you’re just browsing, just woke up, just got out of jail, or just got lost, and found your way here by mistake. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope Francis, or haven’t gathered in a community for weeks, months or years.

We welcome you if you like sports, or don’t know the difference between a touchdown or homerun, starving artists, nature lovers, coffee drinkers, vegetarians, and junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, If you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like organized religion, or who have had religion shoved down your throat.

If you blew all your cash at the casino, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because you accidently found this post while searching the internet.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a hug, or prayer right now (or both), we welcome internet surfers, seekers, doubters, and we welcome you: just as you are!

If you feel called, I invited you to light a candle, or find an object that is meaningful to you to hold, or have with you. And find a spot that you can focus on sharing just a few short minutes with these words, images and videos.

Take a look at this YouTube video, please, before you continue reading:
“10 True Stories”

Come we now out of the darkness of our unknowing
and the dusk of our dreaming;
Come we now from far places.
Come we now into the twilight of our awakening
and the reflection of our gathering.
Come we now all together.

We bring, unilluminated, our dark caves of doubting;
We seek, unbedazzled, the clear light of understanding.
May the sparks of our joining kindle our resolve,
brighten our spirits, reflect our love,
and unshadow our days.
Come we now; enter the dawning.
-Annie Foerster

By the time Bobby arrived, the football game had already started. “Why are you so late?” asked his friend. “I couldn’t decide between going to church and going to the football game. So I tossed a coin,” said Bobby. “But that shouldn’t have taken too long.” said the friend. “Well, I had to toss it 35 times.”

Today some of you reading this are with family and friends, some traveled, some do not celebrate, some are spending time alone, some are incarcerated, some are in care centers, and some are homeless. Regardless of who you are, where you are from, or where you are at, you are welcome. You are loved. You are beautiful. You are Worthy. You are here!

In our opening video, there where ten uplifting stories about people doing extra ordinary things, to help others or make the world a better place. We live in a time that the waters are troubled, and as far as I see, I think it will be the bridges WE BUILD that will get us across those waters. It is the walls that we will tear down together, that will insure the darkness of oppression, injustice, and hate are cast out into the open for all to witness. And it is the hands that will connected, one by one that will affirm the peace, the compassion, and the hope that we all share deeply rooted into our humanity regardless of our color of skin, religious choices, political choices, sexual orientations, or gender identities.

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

It has been said to live life fully is to love someone, do something, and to have hope in something. I know my life includes a fair amount of both hope and faith, both in people, processes, and the universe. Oh sure, some of it, for me is also spiritual based, AND I recognize that in fact I depend on a great amount of hope and faith in the people I surround myself with, those whom I invest time with, and for those who I help, and perhaps help me!

Let us not be so cynical that we lose our light.
Let us not be so lost in darkness that we can’t find light.
Let us not be so blind to the beauty and good deeds before us that we are unable to keep our own light lit, and rekindle the light of others as needed.

I encourage, challenge, and plead with each of you to hold on to you, hold on to your hope, and to what you have faith in.

I encourage, challenge and plead with each of you to work on building bridges; in you family, at work, with friends, neighbors, with…

I encourage, challenge, and plead with you each of you to help tear down words and actions that are the walls of hate, injustice, and oppression. Expose, name, and confront that which takes our faith, hope, and compassion from us.

If you do that, even a little each day. I will too!

MUSIC VIDEO… Take a look at this YouTube video, please, before you continue reading. One Republic “I Lived”

A strip of barren land
Stark, forbidding
But I sat there and watched a flower grow
Bringing a bright splash of color
To this dead land
Bringing a bright splash of hope
To a world sinking into the darkness
-Joe Cole

It is time for us to end our time together and get back to the business of living our routines, schedules, and lives.
May peace be a gift from your hands and feet
May love be a gift from your heart
May compassion be a gift of your doing
And may hope always be the center of your dreams

No matter who you are, where you are from, who you love, what you believe or don’t believe, you are beautiful, loved, and worthy. May peace, love, and compassion be with you, and importantly, from you!

-Chaplain Royal

The Inclusive Life Center is a 501c3 IRS Tax Exempt Charitable Organization. Consider a one-time gift, or a small monthly gift to support our important work.