Yesterday, in my role as pastor of Edwards Church, I preached an Easter sermon. I focused on what I understand to be the central truth of the holiday: God’s love is more powerful than hatred, more powerful than fear, more powerful even than death. It is a truth that is expressed in different ways in many faith traditions.
After I got home from church, I realized the extent of the terror that had unfolded in Sri Lanka. I was sickened by the senseless loss of life. I was horrified by yet another violent invasion of holy places of worship. I felt devastated by this act of hate on a holiday I understand to be a celebration that love is more powerful.
We live in a world where hate has too much power. Hate harnesses the power of words and guns and bombs to destroy lives and tear communities apart. It leaves us grieving unimaginable losses, living in fear of our neighbors.
Hate is powerful. In the face of terror and sorrow, we acknowledge that reality. We grieve and we rage, and then we find the courage to proclaim that love is more powerful. We find the courage to bring that conviction to fruition through our actions, as we try to live the power of love.
In the wake of recent attacks on Tree of Life synagogue and the Christchurch, New Zealand mosques, we sought to reach out to our Jewish and Muslim neighbors. Today, I was moved by a Facebook post from Aijaz Baloch, president of the Islamic Society of Boston in Wayland, reaching out to Christians: “An attack on one religious institution is an attack on all religious institutions. We stand firmly by our Christian brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka and worldwide, and offer our heartfelt condolences to all affect by this heinous violence.” I am grateful for the ways we can support one another.
This evening, our Buddhist meditation group, normally led by Bhante Pannasiri from Sri Lanka, will gather to meditate together and to light candles for the people of Sri Lanka. Everyone is welcome to join us: Tuesday, April 23 at 7 pm in the Susan Dickerman Hall.
I am thankful for this Open Spirit community, and for our on-going efforts to live the power of love.