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Universal Life Church Seminary
#1 - What is the secret of life?
Rev. Linda Anne Spicer
(music in background…live guitar, piano…soft recorded instrumental)
It is a blessing and a gift to be together with everyone this day /evening in the spirit of love and understanding. We are grateful for the freedom to be congregated in body and heart, to give strength, joy and support to each other and the experience of our Creator’s love. Let us take a few moments to look about us, greet your neighbor and feel the presence of life.
(Greetings, hugs, handshakes)
Please join me in a moment of silence to reflect on our blessings. (Quiet reflection)
Blessed Creator and Source of our Heart,
Thank you for another day to live in your world. Guide our thoughts and open our hearts that we may be spend this time in harmony with your Being. May we learn to be Honest, Happy and Free.
How many times have we wondered “What is the secret of life?”. When life is difficult, confusing or the universe seems to be at a standstill, when we get despondent or afraid, do we wonder “why are we here?“ or “What‘s the use?”. Is there anyone who hasn’t wondered these things if so, come on up and give today’s talk and do you really have wings? (Grin)
Is the Secret of Life wealth, fame, security, good marriage, successful children, health, God of your Heart? Could be, might be.
I went online, typed in “secret of life“, and got 132 million results, so this probably is a big question. Groucho Marx says “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.” Musician James Taylor writes the secret of life is the passage of time. Other places read of the discovery of the DNA double helix, the breakdown of molecules, radiation of the sun, the workings of the mind, belief in God and overpowering fear. One cartoon shows the secret of life guru two levels down from the great golf tips guru. There were books, movies, mantras, endless articles, I finally got bored and pondered these things as I let the cats in from the snow.
For me, the secret of life is breathing, that’s right, breathing.
Genesis 2:7 in the Bible reads “…God formed man from the dust of the ground; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being”
Humans cannot live without oxygen for more than a few minutes. The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ; studies show lack of proper oxygen is one of the major factors in most diseases including cancer. Low oxygen intake causes irritability and depression.
Have you noticed when one is upset, afraid, in extreme concentration, the breathing slows down or stops altogether? A good example is the anxiety or panic attack. (Demonstrate w/ frown, startled gasp etc…) Now think of laughter, a sweet kiss, song. (Demonstrate w/busting out with a favorite tune or something of the like) How does the breathing compare? What joys can be had by the smell of fresh baked bread, lemon blossoms, and the crisp morning air. What about dangers, gas, acids, fire?
The breath of life has many names, prana, chi, anima, mana to name a few, and is recognized as the main Force in most spiritual arenas. Does not the bible read all creation came from God in the words “Let there be…”? How can we have language without breath? In the past a “man’s word was his honor” An interesting word play, change one letter in “words” to get “sword”. How often have our words cut like a sword, or caused countless fights. How much destruction has been started by words either said in jest, spoken in anger, retaliation, jealousy, fear? Ahh...but then again, what about the encouraging word, the sigh of relief, the atta boys/girls, or the words “dinner’s on” yelled from the kitchen or better yet “I love you”? Yes, our breath dictates much of our daily life by how we choose to use it.
Stop now, close your eyes and take a few minutes to just breathe. Even if you are on oxygen, have allergies or a cold, still stop, enjoy your breathing and think of the gift of life. (Music playing softly in background, close eyes and pause as people adjust to breathing.)
Thank you for the gift of life today. May we be aware of your gift and speak as you would have us speak, live as you would have us live and love as you would have us love.
Lets’ try an experiment this week, when the temptation to react unkindly to any situation, be it an irritating driver, the telephone, a persistent child, let’s try to stop and take that deep breath or two or four and remember the life we’ve been given and just what we're about to do with the “ secret of life”.
The homelitic guidelines suggest an Offeratory section of a sermon. It is my desire to not bring money into a homily, the mixing of masters you know. I do realize money is a necessity, ideally money will be gathered at a drop box at the door or some localized place. Should the need arise for more money than is available, that will be taken up at different meetings and newsletters/postings stating the need and amount needed.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
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