Sermons

The Defiant Birds and Grasses (02-17-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

All over this globe right now people are swarming. We move in swarms, in herds, in flocks, like locusts and antelopes and wooly mammoths, always moving toward water, always seeking food, always migrating toward safety for our young, and in our case, the case of our specific species, toward love and home, compassion.  This is very old, this longing for welcome and home, almost as old as the longing for life that we share with all the other animals,and plants.  I was a stranger and you welcomed me, says one ancient holy text. This is our shared experience as human animals.  My father was a wandering Aramean, says another sacred text, one of the oldest in the Hebrew bible, and essential: we come from wanderers, all of us: aliens, exiles, migrants, flocks and families. The land belongs to no one, nor can it, in the end.

I’m not saying we should open the border, or abolish it.

I’m saying the wall is a travesty and a tragedy.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “The Defiant Birds and Grasses”
Download 02-17-19-sermon .pdf

We All Go High (02-10-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Feb 13, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Unitarian Universalists are direct descendants of Eve, who did not make a “mistake” in the garden and thus bring down all humanity. She was not tricked by a snake or anybody else.  We are the children of Eve, the woman who said plainly, “I don’t want to live in this garden, this gated community, if I don’t have full access to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I’m ravenous for wisdom, and moral agency, and I’m ready for the messy work of ethical discernment.  This neighborhood’s too small, too homogenous, Adam, and I want to draw wide circles of empathy, so wide they insect and overlap into one great universal circle,  and this paradise is too precious and exclusive. I don’t like that there’s a wall around it. I don’t want dominion over the animals or anybody else. It’s time for us to go, and if you won’t go, don’t hinder me.”   That’s our biblical lineage right there.  We are called to the deepest, most radical compassion we can muster, for ourselves, for one another, for everyone and everything within the widest circles we can draw, the widest ring of love we can imagine.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “We All Go High”
Download 02-10-19-sermon .pdf

A Mind of Winter (12-16-18 Sermon)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 in Podcasts | 0 comments

None of it is real – the virgin, the donkey, the shepherds, the star; none of it is real – but much of it rings true. Not the doctrine, but the mystery. Not the miracles, but the empirical, undeniable evidence.

Tyrants are always persecuting the poor, demanding their documents and proof of citizenship.
Rich governments are always closing their borders against aliens from Nazareth and Bethlehem, and Guatemala, and hunting down young upstarts who threaten revolution.

Poor women are always and forever asked to bear unspeakable burdens, to accept the burden as a virtue, and suffer like saints.
And somewhere, almost always, someone is opening their door in the night and saying, “I have room for you. Come in.”

Sometimes wise men and wise women choose not to be complicit, and bring lovely gifts instead of treachery.

And people have always been wondering, wandering, under the stars – we still are –whether listening for trumpets of angels, or the wailing of babies, or the whisper of wind breathing into our cynical ears and ice cold hearts the hope of peace on earth, goodwill restored.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “A Mind of Winter”

Download 12-16-18-sermon .pdf